Snow is not the biggest hazard for people trying to get around during winter months. A flash freeze leading to black ice is much more dangerous.
A flash freeze occurs when the temperature drops very quickly in a short period of time. This generally means anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees over the course of an hour. Rain or other precipitation that may have fallen just before the flash freeze does not have time to dry, often resulting in black ice. Black ice is a thin sheet of ice that is exceptionally slippery and may cause you to fall or, if you are driving, get into a car or truck accident.
There are things you can do to reduce your chances of being injured on black ice. These include moving slowly and using safe equipment, usually in the form of good footwear or good tires. However, the safest thing to do is to stay off of black ice completely. You won’t have any traction. If you are walking, you have a good chance of having a slip and fall accident. If you are driving, you may be able to get your car or truck to move, but you will have difficulty turning and stopping. You have a good chance of getting hurt in a car or truck accident.
Safety is the Top Priority During Icy Conditions
Of course, before you can know to use extra safety measures or, preferably, know to stay off black ice altogether, you must know that it is there. This leads us to the next problem. Black ice is not actually black. It is see through, so that it takes the color of the ground it forms on. It is called black ice because we generally think of it forming on roadways, which are made of blacktop. But it will equally assume the color of any other surface, whether it be the color of a sidewalk, stairwell, bridge or any other outdoor surface. It is essentially invisible to the naked eye.
Know your surroundings. If the conditions are wet and it has just gotten very cold, check the surface you are travelling on to see if it is icy. Look around and see if other people are having problems. If you determine that there is a hazardous black ice condition, either stay inside or proceed with caution.
If you are injured in a fall or motor vehicle accident as a result of black ice, you may be entitled to benefits. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Manfred Ricciardelli, a Morristown Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney. We invite you to come in for a free, one-on-one consultation to discuss your case and legal options. Get started by calling (973) 285-1100 today. You can also fill out the form at the top of this page and we will contact you within 24 hours.