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Black Ice

Ice on the road never makes for safe driving. Although melting agents and sand can make roads significantly more accessible, drivers should always use caution in icy conditions no matter how clear the road may seem. Often it is easy to tell when roads will be icy. If there is snow on the ground, for example, the chance of icy roads is obviously higher than usual. But a certain kind of ice can build up on roads without making them look icy. This type of ice is known as black ice.

The actual ice we call “black” ice is actually transparent. Since road surfaces like asphalt and wet concrete are relatively dark, a thin layer of transparent ice on top of them looks “black.” These thin layers are also much slicker than other forms of ice. These two factors are the reasons black ice is so dangerous.

Recognizing the Risk

Thousands of accidents are caused every year by drivers who lose traction on ice. When a driver approaches a patch of black ice, the road may appear completely clear of ice. But when the vehicle’s tires hit the ice at speed, they can easily lose traction and send the vehicle off course. By driving carefully, you can substantially reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle.

Black ice, because of its low visibility, can be harder for drivers to account for. If they do not anticipate it, drivers might not reduce their speed and act as cautiously as they would with more obvious ice. With a few tips, however, you can learn when black ice is likeliest to appear and take precautions.

All forms of rain—but especially light rain, mist, and sometimes fog—can lead to a thin, slick buildup of ice in freezing conditions. Snow that melts and then re-freezes also commonly causes a buildup of black ice. Black ice forms first on bridges and overpasses, since they are removed from the warmth of the Earth and exposed to the air. In freezing weather, caution should always be taken when approaching bridges and overpasses.

Contact Us

Although many drivers know to take caution in Wisconsin winters, it can be easy to overlook the danger of black ice in less wintry conditions. Even the most experienced drivers can lose traction in icy conditions. If you have been injured due to a vehicle losing traction in icy weather, the Milwaukee personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® can help you. Contact us today at (414) 271-0900.