As December quickly approaches, the news for Virginia is a colder than normal winter this year. To avoid falling victim to a weather-related car accident, it is important to take the time to review some safe winter driving practices.
One of the most dangerous of all winter weather conditions is black ice or glaze, which is a thin layer of ice that looks dark and many drivers mistake for just wetness on the road and not a smooth sheet of dangerous ice. Black ice often causes the driver to lose traction and control of their vehicle, leading to car crashes.
If you do find yourself out on the roads in dangerous conditions, there are some steps you can take which may help decrease your chances of being in a black ice car accident.
Watch for Road Conditions
Knowing how to recognize there is black ice on the road and being able to safely drive on it is key. When you are traveling in bad weather, make sure to keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Black ice can cause you to lose braking function in your vehicle, so keeping sharply focused on the road is critical. Avoid all forms of distracted driving, including talking on your cell phone and playing with your radio or GPS.
Discovering Black Ice – the Hard Way
If you find yourself approaching an area of the road that you suspect has black ice, stay calm and keep your driving steady. Any quick hitting of your brakes or acceleration could cause you to lose that traction you need to maintain control of the vehicle. This could send you into a deadly skid and into the path of another vehicle.
As you are driving over the black ice, just stay steady on your course until you have safely driven beyond it. If you need to slow down, just remember to apply your brakes very gently. If you suddenly find yourself heading into a skid, remain calm. Quickly take your foot off the accelerator and brake and try to steer the vehicle directly into the skid. Your first reaction will likely be to steer away from the skid, but this will actually make it worse. Steering into the skid repositions the vehicle and enables you to regain control.
Call a Virginia Accident Attorney
Sometimes, no matter how safely we drive, we can still be injured in a car accident. If you have been injured, contact a Virginia Beach accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.