Abels & Annes

Black ice hard to detect in Chicago weather-related accidents

Our Chicago injury lawyers urge you to use extra caution when the temperature drops even if snow isn’t falling because not all winter dangers are easily detectable.

Winter weather has arrived so it’s that time of year to drag out the shovels, grab the boots, and check the treads on the tires. As the temperature drops in the Midwest you need to prepare for those winter conditions that are likely to occur as a result. One danger of winter weather is the possibility of black ice. Chicago car accidents caused by black ice are particularly prevalent during the morning commute, when the roads may be clear but iced over from the long, cold night.
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CBS Chicago reported that black ice began causing accidents in November. True to form, the black ice caused numerous crashes and road closures in the Chicago area. Black ice is so dangerous precisely because it is so difficult to see and can make treacherous roads that appear clear and safe for travel.

Black ice typically occurs when the temperature gets below 40 degrees. Road surfaces become cool and the frost or precipitation lying on the surface generates an icy texture which makes the conditions slippery. If you are driving in black ice conditions be extra careful if the snow begins to fall. Snow conditions are difficult enough to manage but adding ice underneath is almost sure to cause an accident if you aren’t careful.

Helpful driving tips for avoiding black ice accidents in Chicago include:

-Listen to the local weather and traffic to see what the conditions are in your area.

– If you see vehicles sliding ahead of you for no apparent reason, downshift and/or slow down before you get to them because they are probably experiencing black ice.

-Be particularly cautious on bridges and overpasses, which are frequently the first to freeze.

-If you start to skid, remain calm and go with the direction you are skidding rather than jerk the steering wheel around the other direction. When you feel the tires grip, slowly inch back in the other direction. Do not slam on the brakes as this may put you in an uncontrolled skid.

-Before winter approaches check the tread on your tires. The thicker the tread is the more traction gained so it may be advantageous to have a set of tires only used during the winter time.

-Don’t fall victim to the myth that SUV’s are top performers in all bad weather because no vehicle drives well on ice – slow down, especially if you own an SUV.

If you or someone you know have been injured in an automobile accident, let the Chicago personalattorneys at Abels & Annes evaluate your case. Call them toll free at 866-99-ABELS for a free and confidential consultation.