If it seems to you like a lot of drivers sharing the road today don’t have much skill at winter driving, that’s likely to be true. Tom Maze at Iowa State University’s Center for Transportation Research and Education has done research to confirm that during nice weather we forget a lot of the bad-weather driving skills we learned.
"It’s the worst time to be out," Maze says, "at the first storm of the year, particularly if…it’s not just snow, it’s snow and ice." He says while that skill at bad-weather driving will return with a little experience, and the crash rate will decrease with more snowy weather, the best bet is to skip the first storm.
When the road conditions get really poor as it’s still snowing, he recommends you just stay home. "Travel some other time." Maze got data from law-enforcement and public-safety reports, and whenever snow or sleet made for wintry conditions he compared the winter-weather crash totals to the accidents that happened during clear weather. He says it’s clear Iowans re-learn the skill every year, as the rate of weather-related wrecks will go down before the end of winter, even when it storms again.