If you walk outside to get in your car and there’s a foot of snow on the ground, you know that you’re going to have a relatively difficult and potentially dangerous commute. It’s clear that there is a greater risk because you’re going to have to drive through these conditions, which can make the roads slippery and cause drivers to lose control. Every year, there are numerous pileup accidents as multiple vehicles slide into each other.
But the benefit that you have in this situation is that at least you know the roads are dangerous. You can slow down. You can decide to stay home. You can take extra steps to ensure that your car is ready for the weather. When things get really problematic is when those roads also contain hidden dangers that are so much more difficult to prepare for.
One example of this is when fresh rain or snowmelt freezes overnight into a clear sheet. This is often known as black ice because the transparency makes it all but invisible on the black pavement. Additionally, it is often a very thin sheet of ice, meaning that you may not even realize you’re driving on it. When you’re driving in the snow, you can feel the impact on the tires and on your car. When you’re driving on black ice, everything can feel normal until you suddenly realize you have no control over your steering or braking. The car is just sliding.
Ice under snow
A similar problem that comes up is when there is a dusting of snow, and it only looks like a few inches. People often think that it’s fairly safe to drive through these conditions and that they shouldn’t be at risk. But a sheet of ice can be hidden under that snow, and the snow melting on top from the heat of the tires just makes it more dangerous. Once again, you may not realize that you’ve lost control of the vehicle until there’s no way to get it back.
Have you been injured?
Even if you drive safely on the ice, other drivers are still going to lose control and cause accidents. Be sure you know how to seek compensation if this happens to you.