February 6, 2024

How Does Black Ice Cause Car Accidents?

Car driving on black ice

Road hazards like black ice are everywhere and can be hard to avoid. Why do these patches of ice form, and how can they be avoided? Black ice gets its color from the asphalt underneath. It is just normal ice, thin and transparent enough to blend in with what is beneath its surface. When you look at it up closely, it looks just like a wet blacktop. This ice forms when precipitation and temperatures are 32 degrees or below, cold enough to freeze water. Black ice also forms after snow melts and leaves big puddles of water. The surface becomes dangerous and slippery if temperatures go below freezing before the water evaporates, potentially leading to severe car accidents. High moisture levels in the air and humidity can even cause black ice.

Basic winter driving safety tips can help you avoid black ice. Many drivers change their standard tires to winter ones this time of year. Those tires have better handling and grip than all-season tires and perform better on slippery roads.

Avoid cruise control in wintry road conditions because it can slow reaction time. It is safer to reduce your speed when the roads are wet or icy. If you start a skid, you will have more time and control.

Listen to traffic and weather reports when driving conditions could be impacted by rain or snow. It is best to put off the drive when possible or to avoid driving at night when black ice is even harder to see.

How Should I Drive on Black Ice?

Black ice can be impossible to see, even when driving over it. If your car starts skidding and losing traction, ease up on the accelerator and glide across in a straight line. Do not turn the steering wheel or make sudden turns.

Shift to a lower gear if possible for more control. Once you gain traction, press firmly on the brakes. If your vehicle is not equipped with an anti-lock brake system, gently pump the brakes.

Keep the wheel as straight as possible, but if the front end starts to slide, turn the wheel in the opposite direction of the skid. You will want to steer in the same direction when the back end starts to slide. Focus on the direction you need to go instead of an object in your path that might cause you to drive right into it.

A Delaware County Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Will Help You After a Black Ice Car Accident

If you suffered injuries from a black ice accident, contact an experienced Delaware County car accident lawyer at the law firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. We can protect your rights if another driver’s negligence led to your injuries. Call us at 267-861-7100 or contact us online for more information and to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and we proudly assist clients in Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.