Each winter drivers across North America depend on snowfighters to keep roads safe and clear. Road salt is the single most important winter maintenance material. A study conducted by Marquette University found that, when winter storms turn roads to ice, de-icing them with salt saves lives reducing accidents by 88 percent and injuries by 85 percent. Road salt is also vital to local and state economies by preventing costly winter shutdowns of the roadways. A study by IHS Global Insight for the American Highway Users Alliance found that snowstorms cost states as much as $700 million per day in both direct and indirect costs if roads are impassable.
For more than 40 years, the Salt Institute has promoted the latest environmentally-friendly application technologies and sustainable practices in the management of road salt, from storage to snowfighting operations. The Salt Institute has also long supported research in a broad area of study supporting environmental protection. A comprehensive study by environmental researchers at the University of Waterloo and Environment Canada examined groundwater monitoring data and found that chloride levels were reduced by half when best practices were employed. In another study researchers at the Guelph University found that snowmelt runoff from major stormwater outfalls could be collected and recycled to reduce chloride peaks in the streams without adversely affecting road safety.
The Salt Institute, which represents North American salt producers, will continue to support safe and sustainable snowfighting that both promotes public safety and mobility and protects the environment.”
Marquette University Study on Traffic Accidents
IHS Global Insights: Economic Costs of Disruption from a Snowstorm
University of Waterloo: Assessing the Efficacy of Current Road Salt Management Programs
Guelph University: Controlling High Chloride Stormwater Runoff