Every year it seems that Atlanta gets at least one white blanket of snow and many find themselves stuck at home because of icy road conditions. Even if we don’t see snow, winter rains can be just as threatening. Whether it be melting snow, or rain water on the ground, as the winter temperatures remain near or below freezing, that moisture creates a layer of black ice. Black ice can form during rain when the air temperature is at or below freezing or when the surface of the road is already wet (melting snow).
Black Ice is Top Cause of Car Accidents
The most frightening part of black ice is that you don’t know it is there. Its known superpower is to be almost invisible, until it is too late and you find yourself up against a guard rail or in a ditch. The best way to spot black ice is by observing changes in the color of the pavement. Specifically, look for areas where the road is slightly darker and duller than the rest of the road surface. When the road is shiny and reflective, but the tires on the vehicle in front of you are spraying water, you have little to fear – however, if the road looks wet and there’s no spray – exercise extreme caution!
Drivers need to be careful in specific areas as black ice will form on roads that are in rural or suburban areas. Three of the most dangerous places to find black ice are bridges, viaducts and overpasses because they are exposed on the top and bottom – which allows cool, faster air to travel above and below; instantly creating black ice. Lastly, another place to look for black ice is at the bottom of hills and in areas that are heavily shaded. Take your time driving over these areas as even a small patch of black ice can result in a car accident.
How to Drive on Black Ice
But what if you can’t avoid it and you hit a patch of black ice?!
Let’s be honest, if you hit a patch of ice on a turn – that’s it. It takes some maneuvering and capable driving skills, winter weather tires and high-tech vehicular performance to keep you out of an accident. If your car does begin to slide, take your foot off of the gas. Do not hit the brakes or turn your steering wheel as these maneuvers will only make matters worse. Lastly, don’t ever rely on those “anti-lock” brakes – they’re a false sense of security.
All in all, winter weather driving should be a test of your patience. If a driver in front of you is driving below the speed limit – they probably have good reason, especially if roadways are wet and freezing. The best possible thing to do when driving during the winter months (yes, even in Atlanta) is to slow down and give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
Kaine Law is a personal injury law firm representing injured accident victims in Georgia. With offices in Atlanta, Conyers, Lawrenceville and Stockbridge, Kaine Law’s personal injury attorneys specialize in representing injured motorcycle accident victims, injured car accident victims, injured dog bite victims and injured pedestrian accident victims. Kaine Law represents their injured accident victim clients using a contingency fee agreement which provides that there are no legal fees unless we win.