How Rock Salt Saves Lives Every Winter

 In Safe Driving Guide

It’s no secret that winter storms create dangerous conditions on roadways. To melt ice and snow, transportation agencies across the United States and Canada collectively spread millions of tons of rock salt (road salt) every winter. Of course, the purpose of spreading so much salt is to save lives by making the roads safer. Let’s take a look at what rock salt is and find out how effective it is at saving lives.

What Is Rock Salt?

Sodium chloride is the chemical name for rock salt and table salt. While they have the same chemical makeup, rock salt is coarser and is not for human consumption. Unlike table salt, rock salt is not processed to removed impurities. Rock salt works as a deicer because salt dissolved in water has a lower freezing point than water alone.

Rock Salt Is Extremely Effective at Saving Lives

Studies have shown how highly effective rock salt is at preventing collisions, which could cost lives. A Marquette University study found that in the hours before two-lane highways were treated with rock salt injury, accidents were nine times higher than the hours immediately after rock salt treatment. The same study noted injury accidents were seven times greater on freeways in the hours before rock salt was applied.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo examined original data and data from the Marquette study to learn if deicing with rock salt has an impact on safety. The analysis of their original data found an astounding 51 percent reduction in accidents after applying rock salt.

Be Prepared for Winter Road Conditions

The time to prepare for Midwest snowstorms and icy roads is before winter arrives. At Salt Industries, we’re ready to meet the rock salt needs of our Midwest neighbors. Contact us today to get a quote for your bulk order of rock salt.

Where Does Rock Salt Come From