35% of all car accidents in the U.S. are caused by adverse weather. Moreover, 70% of winter deaths are attributed to snow and ice. In an effort to help reduce the number of collisions in Colorado, the Denver car accident attorneys at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, would like to offer even more tips.
One of the biggest accident-causing problems in Colorado is black ice. Black ice is clear water frozen on dark roadways, presenting a hidden trap for motorists who cannot see the slick pavement. It is particularly prevalent on bridges, below overpasses, and in areas surrounded by trees. When drivers encounter black ice, their tires will slip and the car will skid out of control. Because black ice can form so quickly and is so camouflaged on the road, OSHA officials call it “the deadliest of all winter driving hazards.”
What to Watch Out For
Keep an eye out for the following clues that black ice may be present:
- Pavement that looks dry but appears darker in color;
- Low-lying areas that may have water runoff from nearby trees or land;
- Bridges, which typically freeze first;
- Underpasses and other road areas that are shaded from the sun;
- Air temps below 40 degrees F.
Precautions to Take
There are also precautions you can take to lessen your chances of coming into harm’s way:
- Traction: good tires can mean all the difference when you hit an icy patch;
- 4-wheel drive: While 4-wheel drive will not keep your car from sliding on ice if you are driving too fast for conditions, it can help;
- Slow down: drive cautiously and do not overestimate road conditions;
- Do not tailgate: the extra car length can mean the difference if you lose traction and cannot stop;
- Keep your windshield clean: ice can be hard to see in the best conditions;
- Anticipate traffic lights and intersections: give yourself longer braking distances than normal/ extra time to slow down;
- Wear your seat belt
Tips if you hit Black Ice
If you hit a patch of ice, here are some tips to help stay in control:
- Slow down, but do not brake too quickly. You do not want your brakes to lock. Instead, decelerate by taking your foot slowly off the accelerator;
- Make smooth steering movement, not jerky turns;
- In the event your car starts to spin, turn your wheel in the direction you want your car to go.
Contact our Denver Car Accident Attorneys
For more information about Colorado winter driving, you can contact our Denver car accident attorneys at 720.863.6904 or email us for your free consultation. Our lawyers handle a wide range of cases, including Car Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Bike Accidents, Motorcycle Collisions, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip and Fall Accidents, Dog Bite Accidents, and any other form of personal injury in Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.