Rochester, NY has been rated the snowiest city in the U.S. after this past weekend’s additional 6.6 inches of snow. The Rochester airport has collected up to 58.6 inches so far this season, placing Rochester a full foot ahead of Buffalo and Syracuse.
For 16 out of the 51 largest American cities, annual snowfall typically adds up to two feet (60 centimeters). But Rochester has an annual average of 100 inches (255 cm). Buffalo also receives approximately eight feet of snow every year.
Rochester’s heavy snowfall isn’t out of the ordinary
According to the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the winter season this year is predicted to be warmer and wetter than usual. But despite the warm temperatures we’ve seen this past January, Rochester’s snowfall this season isn’t out of the ordinary.
According to Rochester First, the flower city is currently a foot above average for the winter season. But most of the snow this year has been followed by warmer air that’s caused the snow to melt away quickly. Temperatures are expected to remain frigid for the first part of this week before warming up again around January 23.
Be wary of difficult travel conditions
While Rochester’s snowfall isn’t out of the ordinary for the city’s typical winter weather, it’s still important to be careful when traveling. This is especially true now that snow squalls have become more frequent in the area.
Severe weather can be dangerous for motorists even in cities that are used to snow. Up to 6 million car accidents occur on U.S. roads every year and winter storms are a factor in 500,000 of those accidents. Approximately 3 million people are injured on U.S. roads annually.
The most common types of winter-related car accident injuries include whiplash, concussions, scrapes and cuts, broken ribs, knee injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Fortunately, there are up to 472,560 primary care physicians operating in the U.S. who can diagnose and treat these common injuries. If you end up disabled after a winter-related car accident, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) can provide you with reasonable accommodations.
To avoid serious injury, the American Automobile Association (AAA) urges drivers to be cautious when driving in snowy and icy conditions. Here are a few tips from AAA for driving in adverse weather:
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Never use cruise control when driving on a slippery road. Apply the gas slowly to avoid slipping. Take the time to slow down for a stoplight.
- Increase your following distance. It’s typically recommended to drive a car’s length behind the vehicle in front of you. During the winter, especially after a storm, increase your following distance by five to six seconds to give you more time if you need to stop.
- Only go out during a storm if it’s an emergency. It’s best to avoid driving in bad weather unless it’s absolutely necessary. Unless you’re experiencing an emergency, consider staying home.
- Don’t drive drowsy. Driving drowsy is dangerous in any weather. Up to 4% of car accidents that result in death are caused by fatigue. Make sure you’ve had at least seven hours of sleep before getting behind the wheel.
- Know your vehicle. Although global car sales reached 88 million in 2016, many vehicles on the road today are in need of some type of maintenance or repair. Equipment cleaning alone requires the right mechanics, temperature, chemicals, and time. It’s important to know whether your vehicle is safe to drive on winter roads before getting behind the wheel. Make sure your vehicle has received the maintenance it needs to drive safely in winter weather conditions such as an oil change and tire rotation.
Rochester may be used to heavy snowfall and strong winds, but it’s crucial to be cautious when driving in icy conditions. By following the tips above, you can reduce your risk of getting into a car accident this season in America’s snowiest city.