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As the calendar flips over to December, winter is just a few short weeks away. For many in the Chicagoland region, this means increased driving in much more dangerous weather conditions. According to most sources, this year’s winter will not be as brutally cold as last year, but the area will certainly get its share of ice of snow. To avoid falling victim to a weather-related car accident, it is important to take the time to review some safe winter driving practices.
One of the most dangerous of all winter weather conditions is black ice or glaze, or a layer of a thin sheet of ice that appears rather dark and often misinterpreted as only wet when in all actuality, the smooth surface is deceivingly ice, often causing drivers to experience the loss of traction and control of the vehicle.
Possibly the best advice for such adverse winter driving conditions is to avoid unnecessary travel but if you do need to venture out, the following information on how to handle encounters with black ice may decrease your chances of becoming involved in an unavoidable car accident.
Be Aware of Road Conditions
Although the best option is to postpone travel, knowing how to recognize and negotiate black ice is key to winter driving safety. By maintaining a safe distance between you and the lead vehicle is highly advisable especially during early morning and night time winter driving.
Since driving on black ice can result in the loss of control and braking function, any form of distracted driving, such as cell phone usage, adjusting the radio, or not paying close attention to road conditions is highly discouraged.
Finding Yourself on Thin Ice
If you believe that you are driving toward a section of black ice on the roadway, remain calm and maintain driving inputs to a minimum. Keep in mind that a sudden application of the brakes, quick acceleration or change in steering direction often results in the loss of traction which could send your vehicle into a skid and possibly into the path of an oncoming vehicle, increasing your risk of a head-on collision.
When negotiating black ice, stay the course until bypassing the black ice section of the roadway. If necessary, apply the brakes gently and, if headed into a skid, immediately remove your foot from both the accelerator and brake and steer directly into the direction of the skid. Although for many, the first reaction is to steer out of the skid, steering into the direction of the skid will help regain control and re-position the vehicle.
If travel is unavoidable and you are injured in a car accident due to another driver’s failure to adjust to inclement weather conditions, contact the experienced DuPage County car accident attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio. Call 630-920-8855 to discuss your legal options today.