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                   Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 11:27AM CST

Dangerous freezing icing event tonight and tomorrow (Thursday-Friday 1/24-25)

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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A multi-state freezing rain event like the one about to affect Arkansas to North Carolina is one of the worst types of weather events in terms of human impact. A similar event on December 23-24 of 2008 killed at least 49 people, injured hundreds and caused damage to thousands of vehicles across the Plains, Midwest and northeast US.

For drivers on the road (which means just about everybody), a freezing rain advisory is more serious than a PDS tornado watch. It's a fact: freezing rain kills and injures many more people (per square mile per hour) than most tornado outbreaks!

The reason that light freezing rain is so dangerous is that:

  1. Freezing rain icing is very hard to differentiate from wet roads. Drivers crash at much higher speeds in freezing rain because they are not aware of the hazard. This translates to more deaths, more serious injuries and greater vehicle damage costs.
     
  2. Public awareness of the level of risk from freezing rain is low. Freezing rain events do not get the same level of attention and urgency that tornado outbreaks do, for example. It is typically portrayed more often as a travel nusiance than a deadly hazard. This contributes to drivers not exercising the necessary level of caution that should be taken during freezing rain events.
You and I can help! If you or anyone you know will be driving in the areas about to be affected by this freezing rain event, please pass the message along to them. See icyroadsafety.com to learn more about road icing and its dangers, and how you can stay safe.

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