Black Ice Accidents
In most parts of the country, winter weather means scraping ice off your car, shoveling snow from around your vehicle, and longer commutes to and from school and work. Blowing snow, white outs, ice storms, and freezing temperatures are hazardous enough but when you factor in the invisible and deadly black ice, the term “dangerous winter driving conditions” takes on a whole new meaning.
Part of why black ice is so dangerous is that no vehicle is immune to it and no tire, not even winter treads, can protect you from it. It doesn’t matter whether you are traveling slow down a rural road or creeping along an interstate highway, when a vehicle hits a patch of black ice it can cause it to spin out of control, or propel it into oncoming traffic, or throw it sidelong into another vehicle, the guardrail, or an embankment. There’s just no telling what can happen when you hit black ice.
Black ice can occur simple because of adverse weather conditions or it can form on roads that don’t have proper drainage either because of the way they were designed or because the road needs maintained. Black ice typically occurs during wet winter conditions and usually forms on shaded areas of the road and on bridges and overpasses before it forms on the open highway, and it can form in these areas before the temperature drops below freezing. Sometimes black ice appears as a wet spot or puddle on the road, but often it can’t be seen at all.
Black ice accidents usually happen very quickly giving the driver little to no time to attempt to regain control of the vehicle before crashing. It’s not unusual for black ice to cause multi-vehicle accidents and pile-ups.
These types of accidents, possibly because of how quickly they occur, tend to cause serious injuries. In fact, some of the most common injuries sustained in black ice accidents include:
- Face and head injuries from hitting the steering wheel, side window, or side door frame.
- Shoulder and chest injuries from the seat-belt
- Neck injuries from being whipped around in the out of control vehicle
These types of injuries include sprains, fractures, contusions, abrasions, fractures and breaks and often require emergency treatment and ongoing medical care and therapy. Sadly, black ice accidents may also cause fatalities, especially when more than one vehicle is involved or if the out-of-control vehicle hits a guardrail, leaves the road, or flips.
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