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Driving on Black Ice

Posted on February 10, 2017

Even though Tulsa enjoys a relatively moderate climate in the winter, drivers should still be wary of driving on black ice and other slippery conditions during the colder months.

Oklahomans were not prepared for wintry conditions that accompanied a recent morning commute. According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, black ice caused numerous accidents on a Wednesday morning in December. Troopers responded to 15 accidents on Interstates 244 and 44 within a one-hour period in Tulsa and the surrounding area. There were seven injuries that required treatment, but luckily there were no fatalities.

What Is Black Ice?

Black ice — a thin coating of transparent ice — is extremely dangerous because it is almost impossible to see. The thin ice blends in with the pavement, which is what gives it the “black” name. Black ice creates dangerous road conditions for drivers and for emergency responders, who are just as much as the risk of slipping and sliding.

Black ice is a possibility anytime the pavement is wet and then temperatures drop below freezing. The ice forms when the wet pavement refreezes. Common danger zones include bridges, overpasses, and any stretch of road shaded by trees or other objects.

How to Drive on Black Ice

Check the temperature before you even get inside your car, especially if you are driving at dawn or in the evening when temperatures are usually at their lowest. Drive slowly and cautiously if you know that black ice is a possibility. Here is what to do if you hit a spot of black ice:

  • Keep your steering wheel straight to maintain better control of your vehicle. Turning the wheel makes it more likely that you will lose control.
  • Don’t step on the brakes. If you brake too hard your vehicle will slide on the ice, possibly causing an accident.
  • Reduce speed by taking your foot off of the accelerator. Allow your car to come to a complete stop if it is safe to do so.

If a driver hits black ice and slides into you, remember that you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other expenses, including lost wages and pain and suffering.

Contact Our Office for Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by black ice or other winter weather conditions, contact the law office of Charles Bryan Alred, P.C., today. We are prepared to help you recover compensation for your injuries.