The East Coast might face a massive snowstorm this weekend, one that meteorologists say could be of "historic" proportions.
There are lots of fun things to do during a snowstorm, like drink hot chocolate and build snowmen. But there is one specific thing that pretty much everyone should avoid during a big snowstorm — the thing you should keep in mind as you make preparations for this week.
Do not, if you can possibly avoid it, drive anywhere.
Alan Black and Thomas Mote at the University of Georgia compared deaths from winter-related travel with those from other weather events. Between 2002 and 2011, there were an average of 842 deaths from winter-related automobile accidents annually. That's more than the average deaths from lightning strikes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and rip currents combined.
"Fatal motor vehicle accident rates are higher than expected in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions, while winter-precipitation-related aviation fatalities are most common in the western United States," Black and Mote concluded.
It makes sense to follow the advice of the Washington Post Capital Weather Gang and think through what things you need to do to avoid driving from Friday till about Monday. That could mean stocking up on groceries or bringing home a laptop from the office if you might end up working from home.
And if you're worried about walking in the extreme weather, never fear — we've got a helpful technique to keep you from slipping that you can read more about here.