Colorado’s Invisible Danger: Driving on Black Ice

The average high temperature in Aurora, Colo., in December is 43 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low is 17 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Weather Channel. Thus, driving on black ice in Aurora is commonplace. Black ice often leads to serious accidents, but drivers can avoid these accidents if they take appropriate steps after hitting black ice.

Spotting Black Ice

There isn’t any way to “spot” black ice exactly, but drivers can look for signals that there’s a high risk of black ice on the roadways. Check the pavement to see by its color whether it is wet. Also check the spray coming off of other car’s tires. If there is no spray, there’s a chance you are driving over ice. Even if there is spray, however, it isn’t certain that you won’t be driving on black ice. The top layer of ice can melt, releasing water, while the bottom layer of ice remains frozen.

You’ll find yourself driving on black ice most often in the early morning or night when the temperatures are coldest. During the day, the road often retains enough heat and energy to melt the ice. Bridges are common areas for black ice.

The cool air freezes water on bridges both from the bottom below the bridge and on top. Tree-lined roads and tunnels also have high rates of black ice because they are shielded from sunlight.

Tips for Driving Over Black Ice

Don’t panic if you suspect you are driving on black ice. The best idea for dealing with black ice is to keep the car still. Cars don’t have any traction on black ice, so any sudden movement by the driver results in the car spinning out of control. Drivers should slowly let off the accelerator while on black ice, and if the car’s back end begins to slip to one side, drivers should gently move the wheel in that direction to compensate. Once through the black ice, drivers should pull over in a safe place to wait for crews to salt the streets before resuming driving. But more than just spinning out on black ice can cause injuries. An improperly maintained driveway or faulty brakes could add to an accident. Because of the likelihood of multiple parties liable for an accident, many crash victims retain the services of a lawyer to investigate all possibilities.

How does black ice relate to the law?

Negligence is defined in lawsuits as failing to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. Courts generally hold that taking precautions during the winter, like slowing down and paying extra attention, is part of using reasonable care to prevent harm to others. Drivers involved in accidents where black ice played a part should not automatically rule out legal action. An investigation of the facts may prove that the other driver caused the accident by failing to take reasonable precautions.

The law firm of D.J. Banovitz is committed to helping drivers stay safe on the road and can take appropriate legal action if another driver’s negligence causes an accident. For more information on our firm, you can read through David Joseph Banovitz’s peer endorsements on Avvo. This site offers “ratings, reviews, and disciplinary records for lawyers in every state. Get free legal advice, find the right lawyer, and make informed legal decisions.”

D.J. Banovitz’ career has always concentrated on trial practice and he has litigated hundreds of cases. His passion and sole career focus has been to seek justice for people suffering from personal injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence. The hallmark of the Law Office of D.J. Banovitz, is the total commitment to professionalism, quality, and personalized care of your injury case. D.J. has dedicated his professional life to helping those most in need and is a proud and active member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. His experience includes volunteering for Colorado Rural Legal Services in Montrose, the Colorado Aids Project, consumer law, family law, criminal defense, and Alternative Defense Counsel for juveniles in Denver.