Black Ice Threatens Roadways and Increases Risks for Car Accidents in Chicago

We recently experienced one of the latest first snowfalls of the season on record. Unfortunately, this late snowfall contributed to a number of spin-out accidents and contributed to at least four fatalities that day. Three of these fatalities happened because of car accidents in the Chicago metro area, according to The Courier-News.According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), law enforcement officers responded to dozens of accidents in the Chicago area. In some of these accidents, vehicles spun out and slammed into walls because of the slick roadways and black ice.

We recently reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog that IDOT is urging motorists to be extremely cautious when traveling through winter weather. As we approach the New Year, these conditions are expected to get much worse. IDOT’s not leaving you alone on your roadways. Transportation officials throughout the state will be hitting our roadways with snow and ice removal vehicles to help make your travels as safe as possible. Still, drivers are urged to be extra careful on our roadways during this time of year to avoid a potentially fatal accident.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the first latest snowfall record was on 1965.

Although the snowfall was late, it still produced slick roads and caused a number of accidents. Two of these accident fatalities occurred on Interstate Highway 80 in Will County.

The first accident took the life of a 29-year-old Chicago woman who was heading west on Interstate 80 near Highway 30. She was killed when her vehicle was hit by a passing semi.

Another accident took the life of a 29-year-old as she was heading westbound on Interstate 80. Her vehicle swerved off the road and slammed into a fixed object.

Black ice is something that drivers need to be careful of as we enter the heart of the winter season. Black ice, clear ice or glare ice is used to reference the thin coating of ice on the road’s surface. Black ice isn’t even black at all. It just reflects the black asphalt of the roadway, giving it a black appearance. Drivers need to exercise extreme cautious around snowy and icy roadways.

Safe driving tips if you’re involved in an accident because of black ice, from the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago:

-Drivers should never get out of the vehicle when traveling near black ice. If you’re stuck, don’t try to get out as you risk developing frostbite and/or hypothermia. Not to mention falling and suffering serious injury.

-If you get stuck, hang a brightly colored cloth out of your window or on the vehicle’s antenna to draw attention and for rescuers to see.

-Start up your vehicle and turn on the heat for about 10 minutes each hour. Make sure you vehicle’s exhaust pipe is clear so that fumes won’t back up in the vehicle.

-As you sit and wait for help, keep your legs and arms moving to help blood to circulate and to keep yourself warm.

-Keep one of your vehicle’s windows cracked; the one that’s not facing oncoming wind, to allow fresh air to get it.

-Keep a dome light on so that you can be more easily seen by motorists.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

NHTSA Releases New 2010 Data for Car Accidents in Illinois and Elsewhere, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 9, 2011

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