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Tips to Avoid a Black Ice Car Accident

Posted By David Hernandez || January 22, 2014


Midway through winter, I have noted an unusual amount of car accidents in Brooklyn and Manhattan caused by black ice.

As an experienced car accident attorney, I have seen the sad result of such crashes, especially when the driver did not see the icy road ahead.

To best prepare yourself for black ice in New York, you must understand how to drive on it should it become unavoidable.

Here are some steps you can follow to avoid a car accident on black ice that could leave you and others severely injured:

  • Understand that black ice is like regular ice. Black ice is a glaze that forms on roads, sidewalks, and driveways because of a light or freezing rain or because of melting snow or ice refreezing. It is called “black ice” because it tends to look black on the pavement. It forms without bubbles, allowing it to blend in with nearly
    any surface.
  • Know where to expect black ice. Black ice usually forms at just about freezing point. It forms most commonly at night or in the early morning. It tends to show up on roads without much sunshine, such as in a tunnel or near a tree line. It also forms often on bridges and overpasses.
  • Know how to spot black ice. Although it is transparent, black ice can sometimes be seen ahead. If most of the road is dull but a patch ahead is glossy or shiny, you may be approaching black ice.
  • Practice driving on slippery surfaces. If possible, practice driving in a safe, empty parking lot with ice on it. Become comfortable with the feel of your car in these conditions. Practicing in a controlled setting can help improve your reaction in real-time driving.
  • Deal with black ice if you hit it. If you do encounter black ice, your first reaction must be to remain calm and avoid overreacting. Do not hit the brakes, and try to keep the wheel straight. If you do feel the car sliding left or right, make a very gentle turn in the same direction. If you try to struggle against it, you risk
    skidding or spinning out.
  • Slow down by decelerating. Again, do not touch the breaks. Lift your foot off the accelerator completely, keeping your steering wheel fixed straight.

For more tips on how to handle black ice and avoid a car accident, visit the Defensive Driving Skills & Safety page on WikiHow.

If you are involved in a car accident after hitting black ice, especially if the accident was caused by the negligent driving of another person, contact an experienced Brooklyn, New York car accident attorney right away.

Photo Credit: peggyhr via Compfight cc