OWEGO — On Tuesday, Tioga County Legislators issued a proclamation declaring January as Winter Safety Month.
Noting that winter weather is associated with numerous health and safety impacts, legislators urged all residents to prepare for winter storm situations, and recognize the risks that come with extreme cold and winter driving, which brings a greater risk of car accidents.
Each year, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement; 15 percent occur during snowfall or sleet, resulting in at least 1,300 deaths and nearly 117,000 personal injuries each year
Additionally, legislators noted that winter in upstate New York brings more instances of personal injury, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks from overexertion.
Legislators said 6,600 U.S. residents died from exposure to excessive cold, hypothermia or both between 2006 and 2010.
Between 1950 and 2018, there were over 62 severe Winter Storm events significantly impacting Tioga County, which cost taxpayers over $595,000 in property damage, legislators said.
Further, officials noted that winter storms are the fourth-leading threat of natural disasters facing communities throughout the county.
In addition to increased preparedness measures, legislators urge residents to check on their neighbors during cold months and winter storm events.