The winter months bring numerous challenges for motorists, and ice is perhaps the most treacherous. While snow tires can help cars stick to the street in wintry conditions, slick roads can still be hazardous, especially when black ice begins to form. Because accidents are dangerous and could lead to higher car insurance rates, drivers should proceed with caution when driving anywhere that invisible sheets of ice might cover the road.
The hidden dangers of black ice
Why is black ice so much more dangerous than other types of ice? According to the Daily Herald, black ice is the result of thawed water that quickly returns to its solid form in very thin layers. This makes it especially hazardous for drivers who think that because there's no visible snow on the road, they can drive as they normally would. When the sun goes down, motorists are even more at risk with poor visibility and drastic temperature drops.
"And of course it's always worse at night," Roy Lucke, director of transportation safety programs at the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety told the news source. "If you're paying attention, you can kind of see it during the day. After salt has turned a road white, ice will be darker than the road."
Accidents abound this winter
While black ice is certainly one road danger, any type of bad driving condition could result in an accident and or a collision. According to NJ.com, in New Jersey on the morning of Jan.10, over 250 accidents occured on highways between the hours of 7 and 11 a.m. Freezing rain was reported to have made roads barely usable as people were rushed to emergency rooms across the state to tend to related injuries. Day or night, drivers need to exercise extreme caution in any challenging weather conditions. Even when the snow has passed, the danger may not have.