Salt: A Key Ingredient in Winter Safety

Salt is crucial to winter road safety. Ice and snow can cause dangerous road conditions and lead to accidents. In fact, the rate of highway accidents in icy or snowy conditions is about eight times higher before salt is spread on the road than after salt is used.¹

Salt’s Big Impact

Salt plays a vital role in winter road safety by reducing the chances for severe traffic accidents, keeping you and your community safe. The University of Waterloo conducted an analysis of collision data over six winter seasons (2000-2006) in Ontario and confirmed that road surface condition was by far the single most important factor in determining the number and severity of accidents during the winter season. In fact, the study found a before- and after-analysis on four-lane roads showed a 93% reduction in crashes after deicing.¹ That same study showed winter road maintenance is worth the cost, as deicing pays for itself just 25 minutes after salt is spread.¹

In addition to saving lives, clear roads keep the world moving. According to a study conducted by IHS Global Insight for the American Highway Users Alliance, in some states, a one-day road shutdown caused by a snowstorm can cost as much as $300-$700 million in both direct and indirect costs.² Applying salt to winter roads helps get people, products and equipment to where they are needed, when they are needed.

We think this makes deicing worth its salt.

References:

1. L. Fu and T. Usman, “The Safety Impacts of Using Deicing Salt” Report, November 2012, University of Waterloo, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. A copy of the Report may be accessed at http://www.saltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Final-Report-L-Fu-Taimur.pdf
2. “The Economic Costs of Disruption from a Snowstorm,” American Highway Users Alliance study conducted by IHS Global Insight, study re-released in February 24, 2014. A copy of this study may be accessed at http://www.highways.org/publications/research.