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The Dangers of Black Ice

car on ice

Most drivers know to take it easy when travelling through one of New York’s many winter storms. What they might not know is that black ice is an even more potent problem than snow and slush. If you find yourself slipping and sliding and don’t know why, it could be because you are travelling on black ice.

What is Black Ice? And How is it Different from Regular Ice?

Black ice is not black. Instead, it is transparent, meaning that you can see through it. Regular ice appears white because oxygen is trapped between the crystals. However, with black ice, a person can see right through it, so the ice looks black because of the color of the underlying road or sidewalk.

Black ice is particularly dangerous because many people will mistake it simply for water. If Brooklyn gets a strong rain storm and then the temperatures drop, the water will freeze and form a thin layer of black ice, but many motorists will naturally assume the road is just wet. For this reason, drivers often do not slow down when they see black ice up ahead because they think they are merely driving over a wet patch in the road.

How to Avoid an Accident on Black Ice

Because of its transparency, many people will never notice black ice until they are upon it. This means they might not know anything is wrong until their vehicle starts sliding out of control. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can follow to give yourself the best chance of not crashing:

● Know where black ice is most commonly found. In particular, bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas on the road are most prone to black ice.

● Identify when black ice typically forms. Snow or normal ice could melt during the day and then quickly freeze in the evening, leading to a thin layer of black ice. Also, plunging temperatures after a rain storm are perfect conditions for black ice formation.

● Don’t panic if you hit black ice. Instead, try to keep the steering wheel straight. Many patches of black ice are just that—patches—and you can soon pass over them and get back on bare road.

● Decelerate by lifting your foot off the accelerator. Do not hit the brakes while traveling over black ice.

● Try to steer into areas that have more traction, such as snow or sand.

And what if you feel the back end of your car begin to slide to the left or right? Try to steer gently in the direction the back of your car is going. If it is sliding to the left, turn your steering wheel to the left. This type of maneuver can help you from spinning out.

The Only Auto Accident Law Firm You Need

Accidents happen. There is no way around it. But if someone has struck you and caused serious injuries, you should be able to receive compensation.

At the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates, our team has helped hundreds of injured Brooklyn motorists receive the compensation they need and deserve. To talk with a Brooklyn car accident lawyer, please call 718-407-4123.


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