The Federal Highway Administration estimates that about 150,000 car accidents occur each year due to icy pavements. Chicago gets some of the coldest winters around, and drivers in the city are not immune to these dangers. Last year, temperatures reached low temperatures in the negative degrees, far below freezing. This can easily lead to the formation of black ice.
Despite its name, black ice is not actually black - it’s clear and looks like water. Because of this, it can be difficult to spot and avoid. If you ever find yourself driving in freezing temperatures, here are some extra precautions to take to ensure you avoid skidding on black ice.
Go Slow and Steady
Just like when you’re driving through rain or snow, you should take extra precautions when driving over possible black ice. Since black ice is very smooth, your tires won’t have much grip when you’re slowing down. Because of this, always drive slightly slower than you normally would if you are driving in freezing temperatures.
Know How to Handle a Skid
In the unfortunate event that your vehicle goes over black ice, make sure not to panic. Take your foot off the accelerator immediately and keep a straight wheel so that you “coast” safely over the ice. Avoid turning your wheel and braking suddenly, as this can increase the likelihood of you losing control of your vehicle. If you start to skid, don’t try to overcorrect. Instead, gently turn into the skid while simultaneously pumping the brakes.
Watch the Temperature
You may not be on the lookout for black ice because the weather is not cold enough. However, keep in mind that temperatures can drop quickly, especially during nightfall or in the early morning. If your vehicle’s temperature display reads 32 degrees or below, you should take extra precautions to avoid skidding on potential black ice.
We hope these tips help you stay safe on Chicago roads this winter season. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident in Chicago, make sure to obtain legal representation. Determining liability can be tricky. Our legal team is here to help determine negligent parties and fight for your financial recovery.
Contact Panio Law Offices at (708) 928-8680 to schedule your free consultation.