Black Ice Accidents and Liability

January 14, 2020

Winter weather causes responsible drivers to adjust their driving practices to avoid car accidents. It is common knowledge that it is best to avoid the roads during a snowstorm or freezing rain; however, black ice is a less blatant road condition that is especially dangerous. Since black ice camouflages into the road, unsuspecting drivers can easily lose control. Black ice is not an obvious danger, but its hazards are real.

Dangers of Black Ice

Black ice appears in cold temperatures and often occurs after dangerous winter storms have passed; it is quiet and unnoticed. Melting ice and snow can lead to frozen puddles causing slippery conditions. Black ice is hard to distinguish from the black asphalt on the road, hence the name. This type of icy condition is especially dangerous because it is easily overlooked. Yet, when a frozen sheet of black ice covers a roadway, it can quickly cause an accident for unsuspecting motorists.

Who is Liable for Black Ice?

Drivers who encounter black ice may feel they were not able to avoid this hazard. Black ice accidents often seem unpreventable, but the law does not recognize it as unavoidable. If you lose control of your car due to black ice, you can be held liable for any accident that occurs. This is meant to deter drivers from driving in unfitting weather conditions. Drivers should consider road conditions before entering their vehicle. If you feel that the roads, your car, or your driving skills are not acceptable, avoid driving. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and to practice safe driving while on the road. The exception to this law is if property owners, the city, road crews, or maintenance companies did not tend to winter conditions effectively.

Conditions Conducive to Black Ice

Drivers should be aware of black ice hazards whenever the temperature drops below freezing. Pay attention to refreezing snow and ice from recent storms. This danger is common on bridges and overpasses, which freeze more quickly than other surfaces. Similarly, shadowed road surfaces thaw more slowly than those that melt easily in sunshine.

Tips for Driving in Black Ice Conditions

The possibility of black ice should increase a driver’s attentiveness to danger. Drivers who are mindful of black ice hazards should decrease speed, increase following distance, and maintain control of their vehicle. Avoiding features like cruise control and other automatic assistance technology can help you avoid a car accident caused by black ice. Drivers should be wary before driving in poor weather conditions and be extra careful after snowstorms to avoid potential black ice on the roads.

Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Represent Clients Injured in Car Accidents

If you or someone you know was injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to collect damages for your injuries. Our dedicated Delaware County personal injury lawyers at Eckell Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. will give you legal guidance about your case and help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we also serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.