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Thousands are injured on icy roads every year

When that first snow falls in Michigan, it's often a delight to children and adults, covering the landscape in a beautiful white blanket. It makes sitting by the fire feel as cozy as possible and it brings on the joy of the holidays.

Until you have to drive to work, that is. Then the snow and ice become your biggest hazards. They make driving instantly more dangerous, especially at the beginning of the winter when people are still used to the summer roads.

According to some studies, about 1,300 people die every year in accidents on icy roads. At the same time, ice, snow and slush cause around 116,000 injuries.

The Federal Highway Administration has also tracked the accidents that happen when it's actively snowing. While people may want to avoid driving in a storm, those who have to battle the elements to go to work or school often have no choice. In this situation, roughly 900 people are killed every year in accidents and another 76,000 sustain injuries.

There are ways to combat this. Sand and salt can be used to cover or clear that thin layer of ice on the roads. Plow trucks remove the worst of it after a storm. However, as the winter goes on, it becomes impossible to fully keep the roads clear, and accidents do happen as a result.

If you're injured in an accident caused by another driver, perhaps a person who lost control while driving too fast for conditions, you may have a right to seek compensation. This can be used to cover the cost of medical treatment, lost wages and more.

Source: Safe Winter Roads, "Safe winter roads protect lives," accessed Nov. 20, 2016

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