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Car Accident From Black Ice—Who’s At Fault?

Losing control of your car is a terrifying experience.  From slippery rain to ice, you’ll find your car seizing up and reaching speeds even your brakes can’t halt.  Just a millisecond of chaos can spell disaster for you and your vehicle, especially when black ice is to blame.

What Is Black Ice and How Does It Form?

If you live in a warm climate, chances are that the term “black ice” may read foreign to you.  Is the ice actually black?  Well, no— it’s not as alien as it sounds.  Black ice is simply a very thin layer of ice that forms from flash freezing, which is the process of water or rain meeting cryogenic temperatures as it hits the asphalt and freezes on impact.  Its “black” appearance is simply the black of the road viewed through its translucence, deeming its dangers invisible to the unaware driver. 

Black Ice Car Accident Causes

When a car drives over black ice, it can spin out of control due to the ice’s slick, frictionless surface.  The hard truth, however, is that an ice-induced accident is almost always the driver’s fault.  Every good driver knows that when the roads are icy, extra caution is required.

The leading cause of black ice car accidents, or most car accidents overall, is driver carelessness.  This includes:

  • Distracted driving (texting, eating, or talking while driving)
  • Impaired driving (alcohol, drug, or sleep-induced)
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding

How To Prevent a Car Accident From Black Ice

Avoiding black ice accidents involves practicing common driver knowledge.  Regardless, everyone is prone to human error and can easily slip up from time to time.  Here are some tips to remember the next time you hit the road on an extra chilly day:

  • Maintain a comfortable distance between yourself and other drivers
  • Drive slowly over ice patches or slick roads
  • Maintain proper tire pressure at all times
  • Refrain from using cruise control during the winter months

My Car Slipped on Black Ice.  Am I Still At Fault?

Short answer—it’s complicated.  Even if the car accident felt like a scenario you couldn’t control, it won’t matter in the eyes of the law.  In most scenarios, whoever caused the accident will be held responsible.  It is the driver’s responsibility to determine if they have the driving experience necessary to navigate icy roads.  When a crash happens, whoever slipped and hit the other car first is to blame.

However, some alternate situations can cause a black ice accident not to be the driver’s fault…technically.  If a roadway is not built or appropriately maintained to withstand weather conditions, an organization may be held liable.  Additionally, roads that haven’t been salted or cleared are a breeding ground for black ice—putting the maintenance crew at fault.

Seeking a Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyer?

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident from black ice, you have a right to compensation for vehicular, physical, and emotional damages.  Take action by consulting Breit Law—we’ll connect you with a certified car accident lawyer in Virginia beach.

When you’ve decided to fight back for your legal right, Breit Law is there to guide you through the claims process.  For more information, contact us.

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