Our skilled Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys personal injury attorneys know that our Texas roadways are full of dangerous conditions during the holidays, and some of the most common causes of vehicle collisions can surprise even the most seasoned drivers.
Since more drivers are traveling during the holidays and many driving longer distances accident rates to increase for several reasons.
Additionally, the number of people who drink and drive, tragically makes alcohol use the leading cause of holiday driving deaths, including being a factor in 36% of all Christmas crash fatalities.
Other factors, including distracted and fatigued driving, also play a significant role in holiday crash statistics, as drivers are looking for directions and texting on their phones or staying awake long enough to make it home.
Unfortunately, with all the potentially negligent conditions endangering drivers on our Texas roadways over the holiday season, one cause of vehicle collisions is practically impossible to see: Black Ice.
Here is what our clients need to know about black ice, and how to remain safe when encountering these dangerous conditions.
What is Black Ice?
Black ice is a thin coating of glazed ice that accumulates on our roadways.
This occurs when daytime temperatures rise or when the sun allows any accumulated snow to slowly melt, or after a rain, dew, or fog wets the road’s surface. Once the temperatures fall, the thin coat of moisture freezes, forming black ice.
The ice is visually transparent and allows the often-black road below to be seen through it, which gives it the name, “black ice,” which makes road conditions deceivingly dangerous.
Why is Black Ice So Dangerous?
Black ice is incredibly dangerous because it is nearly impossible to see and is only apparent when the driver hits the brakes or attempts to turn.
Drivers that hit black ice takes approximately nine times the distance to stop than they would need on a dry road, according to Weather.com.
Additionally, if the driver is speeding, and hits a black ice patch, controlling the vehicle becomes increasingly difficult.
How Can I Safely Travel During Black Ice Conditions?
Since black ice is transparent, drivers who believe the conditions are right for it to exist which may include identifying wet surfaces that could be affected by dropping temperatures should increase the distance between their vehicle and vehicle in front of them.
Drivers should use their headlights, even during the day, to help illuminate shiny spots on the road that could be black ice patches, so they can avoid them.
If black ice conditions are possible, do not drive with cruise control turned on, as drivers have little recourse to take back control of the vehicle’s speed once they encounter the hazard.
If you encounter black ice, turn the wheel in the same direction as you are skidding, while lightly tapping the anti-lock brakes to gain traction.
What if I Am Hurt in a Collision Caused by Black Ice?
If you have been hurt in a car accident in Texas, call our skilled Austin personal injury attorneys at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with our bilingual staff who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Our legal team pursues dedicated, driven results for our clients. There is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you. Call (512) 883-0277 today.