Last week, winter storm Inga made a mess of most of the south and east coasts of the United States, showering multiple states with dangerous ice and snow. North Carolina was not spared from the bad weather, which made driving treacherous in many areas. So treacherous, in fact, that even legendary race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. crashed his vehicle in Mooresville. According to a tweet Earnhardt posted on Twitter, he crashed into a tree when he stopped to help other motorists who had been in a separate accident. Luckily, no one was injured in either crash.
There are more than 115,000 people who are injured in car accidents each year that are caused by icy and snowy roads. Winter weather accidents kill more than 1,300 annually. Although snow and slush cause dangerous conditions for drivers, black ice is particularly dangerous because you can’t see it. Most drivers are unaware the road they are traveling on has black ice until they suddenly lose control of the vehicle in a frightening skid.
Black Ice Danger
As the snow melts and the temperature hovers around 32 degrees, motorists face the dangers of black ice on the roads. Black ice is an almost invisible layer of ice that forms on top of driving and walking surfaces, making it dangerous not only for drivers but also pedestrians. It forms when moisture on the ground begins to melt because the sun is out and/or temperatures rise. But when that temperature drops again at night, all that moisture freezes.
If you find yourself driving in an area that has black ice, here are some tips that can help you avoid going into a skid:
- Keep the vehicle’s steering wheel straight. Turning the wheel increases the risk of sliding and losing control;
- Do not brake. This can cause the vehicle to slide; and
- Reduce the vehicle’s speed by taking your foot off the accelerator. If you have enough space in front of you, let the vehicle stop on its own.
Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Attorney
Unfortunately, no matter how safely you drive, there are always other drivers who do not heed the warnings safety experts recommend. This is often evident during wintery weather when seeing a vehicle speed past, only to see that same vehicle a few miles away, off the road because they hit ice or snow and spun out. Far too often, those same drivers smash into other vehicles as they are spinning.
If you have been injured in a crash caused by another driver, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for the losses those injuries have caused. At Shapiro & Appleton, we understand how overwhelming dealing with insurance companies can be while you are trying to focus on your recovery. Our N.C. personal injury attorneys have successfully advocated for many victims and their families in obtaining compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call us today at 800-752-0042 to find out how we can help.