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DOT: Challenging time of year for drivers


UNDATED (WRN)   Wisconsin motorists are entering the most challenging three months of the year.Several seasonal factors cause traffic crashes to peak during the months of November, December and January. Donald Lyden with the state Department of Transportation says the number of crashes increases in winter, because of wintry weather, darting deer, fewer daylight hours, and high traffic during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

“There are fewer crashes in the summertime, but they are more severe. And in the wintertime there are more crashes due to winter weather conditions, however they are generally less severe, more in the terms of property damage crashes.”

Lyden says the number of fatalities increases in the summer months when weather is more favorable for speeding. Slower speeds in bad weather reduces fatalities but increases fender benders from following too closely in slippery conditions.

He says it’s important to adapt your driving for the changing weather conditions. “Once the snow starts to fly here in Wisconsin, it’s time to start slowing down even more-so on snowy road conditions that are deteriorating. You have to understand it’s important to leave more distance between yourself and the car in front of you and slow down so that you have plenty of time to react in case the car in front of you suddenly brakes.”

Also Lyden says buckle up, don’t text, pay attention, and drive sober.