Winter and ice go together. Though the weather man may try his best, icy conditions can strike when you least expect them. That fluffy first snow doesn’t stay that way for long. After snow melts a little, it can freeze again into ice and slush. This can lead to unexpected driving and walking conditions.
Icy conditions cause accidents every winter. However, there are several safety precautions you should know. Furthermore, when an ice accident causes injury, you will know who to call: Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys.
If you grew up in Illinois, you know how to walk on ice. Moreover, you know how to walk on unexpected ice patches. But do you know why they form where they do? Sometimes, the water that froze came from somewhere it shouldn’t. This could be a sewer or downspout. If this is the case, the owner of that property could be liable. The excess water needs a place to go. The area must drain correctly.
Even if the air is only close to freezing, be careful. The temperature of the pavement or sidewalk may stay closer to freezing than your weatherman’s thermometer.
Be aware of ice patches as much as possible, and remember to take it slow during freezing temps.
Black ice can cause worry to even the most veteran winter drivers. This kind of ice forms when even small amount of moisture freezes in a thin layer. This thin layer appears almost transparent, or black on the road surface.
Black ice usually forms after light rain falls as the temperature reaches just below 32 degrees. It lurks in areas shaded by trees, buildings, or tunnels. Bridges are particularly susceptible to these thin layers of ice.
Need tips for catching black ice before it catches you? See the list below:
- Notice a shiny part of an otherwise dull textured road? This could be black ice.
- Drive slowly and use headlights.
- Do not quickly over-correct if you hit ice.
- Keep tire treads appropriate for the season.
- Our favorite tip? Watch the cars ahead of you. That wintry spray they send out can suddenly stop if the moisture disappears. This tell-tale sign that the moisture turned to black ice can give you a warning if driving in heavy traffic.
Black ice conditions in your forecast? Avoid driving if possible. If you must go out on the roads, follow the tips listed above to keep you and your family safe.
Tips for Drivers
At Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys, we are passionate about keeping our roadways and also communities very safe. If an ice accident causes injury to you or your family, give us call. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
We hope this doesn’t happen. So, we compiled this comprehensive list of ice driving tips and tricks to get you through the winter months. Drivers of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles can all use different techniques to stay safe. Check out your guide below.
Cars and Trucks
Cars and trucks are the most commonly used vehicles on the roadways in wintertime. Therefore, they are most likely to get into accident involving ice. Brush up on basic driving techniques and always remember what to do if in an accident does happen. Then, consult with our personal injury lawyers to find out who is liable for your injuries.
How to Drive Correctly in Icy Conditions
Follow these easy steps to hopefully avoid collisions caused by slippery roads.
- Clear ice from your vehicle. Ice over windows or also on the vehicle’s body can mess with your visibility.
- Utilize a cushion of space between you and the vehicles around you. This provides longer reaction times for all drivers.
- Always drive slowly.
- Expect the worst. Drive defensively.
- If conditions worsen, avoid using cruise control.
Of course, icy conditions can sneak up on anyone. See below for what to do if these precautions couldn’t help an accident occur.
What to Do in an Accident
If your car or truck is involved in an icy collision, be sure to involve authorities. Call 911, especially if the ice accident causes injury. Then, document everything you can by taking photos or taking notes. Especially note where the accident occurred in relation to any patches of ice. If you can notice a possible source for the moisture, take note. This evidence could indicate that someone, either the other driver or another person or entity, is liable for the incident.
Negligence of Drivers
The other driver involved in your ice related accident could be liable for damages. Were they:
- On their phone?
- Influenced by drugs or alcohol?
- Tailgating you?
If so, you could have a case against them. Also, you could have a case if they were driving recklessly or ran a red light or stop sign.
Negligence of Others
Did you know that others, not directly involved in the crash, may also be held liable?
Check out this list of possible responsible parties. Some, you may not expect.
- The city you drove in could have defective highway construction or not enough warning signs in place. They may have neglected to clear of ice sufficiently. They may not have salted the roads sufficiently.
- The fault could lie with the vehicle’s manufacturers as well. Defective car parts or brakes and also tires malfunctioning can bring the liability back to them. A recent example is the ongoing recall (2014-present!) of Takata airbags. These dangerous airbags may possibly explode if conditions are correct. Check your vehicle here to see if it is a part of this urgent defective product recall.
Motorcycles and Bikes
While many of us opt to get out our bikes in warmer months, some people still prefer motorcycles and bikes as transportation even in the winter. Cycling safely can help you if a biking ice accident causes injury.
How to Drive Correctly
For a pleasant ride in possibly ice conditions, prepare yourself like this.
- Wear proper biking gear, in layers. Also, include things like neck warmers and face masks that do not hinder your vision.
- Prepare your motorcycle or bike correctly for icy roads. This includes things like good tires, large windscreens, and good foot pegs.
- Maintain your good tires.
- Keep an eye out for cracks in pavement and salt.
- Increase your visibility with flashers and bright clothes.
- Be aware of other drivers on the road. Assume they do not see you.
- Follow bike paths that have been plowed
- Wear bright clothing and reflectors
- Choose brakes wisely- you don’t want to lock up it you hit ice.
- Again, be careful of drivers on the roads. They do not expect to see bikes, especially if it snows.
- Use public transit as a backup.
Use the tips above for drivers to look out for obstacles like black ice. Look for spray coming from vehicles around you. Stay alert and keep an eye on road conditions. Take it slow and give yourself extra time to get there.
Ice Accident Causes Injury… What Do I Do?
Your personal injury attorneys at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys will help you sort through the mess when an ice accident causes injury. You could be entitled to compensation for your damaged car, truck, motorcycle, or bike. So, give us a call today at 844-977-1900 for your free consultation. In the meantime, stay safe on those icy roads!
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.