Mild Weather, Low Gas Prices Lead to More Accidents
Unseasonably warm weather combined with record-low gas prices is likely to blame for a significant increase in traffic fatalities throughout Wisconsin in the first few months of 2016.
In January and February, 79 people were killed in traffic accidents. That is 19 more than the same period last year and 15 more than the average for the last five years.
February alone had 47 traffic fatalities, compared to 25 last year. That is 21 more deaths than the state average for the month.
Traffic fatalities are typically lower in February when compared to the rest of the year. Unfortunately, a deadly weekend last month lead to 11 deaths in just three days. It was the deadliest weekend since August 2015.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Safety, the weather that weekend was particularly warm for this time of year, which most likely lead to more people out on the roads, getting out to enjoy the weather.
El Nino has led to much warmer than average temperatures for the start of this year. February’s average was nearly three degrees above average. When compared to the last two Wisconsin winters, this year is very warm. Last year’s average February temperature was 14.3 degrees, compared to 16.4 in 2014 and 28.7 degrees this year.
When roads are covered in now or slippery from ice, Wisconsin motorists know to drive slower and more cautiously. Although accidents do happen during bad weather, they are usually minor and do not lead to many injuries or deaths.
As gas prices remain low and temperatures continue to be above average, more and more people are traveling further distances, allowing for much greater opportunity to be involved in an accident.
The increase in Wisconsin traffic fatalities is consistent with reports showing a nine percent increase in traffic fatalities across the country for the first half of 2015.
If you or someone you love is injured in a car crash, an auto accident lawyer based in Milwaukee from PKSD can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.