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Black Ice May Be a Factor in Illinois Winter Car Accidents

Posted on in Car Accidents

Joliet personal injury lawyerWinter is upon us, which means frigid air as well as snow, wind, ice, and sleet can be found covering the roads in Illinois. Venturing out can be treacherous, whether walking or driving. After significant snow accumulation, roadways should be plowed in order for drivers to travel safely. In addition, putting salt on icy roads can prevent slipping and sliding. If local streets or highways are not designed or maintained properly, black ice can form, which can cause a car accident. If you or your loved one suffer injuries in a crash that involved black ice, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages depending on the circumstances that led up to the accident. 

What Is Black Ice?  

Black ice, also known as clear ice, is a thin coating or glaze of ice on a hard surface, most often found on roads. Although the ice is not black, it appears transparent, which means the black road or pavement below can often be seen through it. Typically, snowflakes and even ice pellets or slush are visible on sidewalks or streets. However, black ice means that the surrounding areas are practically invisible to drivers or people walking on it. Therefore, pedestrians and motorists alike do not have the traction they normally would on dry surfaces. 

Driving for the Conditions  

There are certain driving behaviors and actions that can contribute to a vehicle collision on black ice. Since drivers may not realize they are traveling on black ice until they start to slide, it is often too late to brake or stop. The loss of traction can occur even when going at slow speeds. But when motorists are going over the posted speed limit, the consequences can be catastrophic. A driver can quickly lose control once the car’s wheels hit the black ice, causing it to swerve into a nearby lane or even oncoming traffic. This can directly lead to side-impact, rear-end, or head-on collisions. A vehicle may even strike a concrete median, building, light pole, or pedestrian, which can result in serious to fatal injuries. 

Cities are usually responsible for plowing their main roads once snow accumulation reaches a certain depth. This may also include having trucks spread salt on icy roads. Infrastructure problems such as poorly designed or inadequately maintained roadways can increase the chance of black ice forming. For example, if potholes or sinking pavement issues are not filled in a timely manner, water is not allowed to drain properly. Many people who live in a condominium or townhouse pay association fees, which go toward snow removal, including shoveling walkways and plowing driveways and entrance roads.  

Contact a Will County Personal Injury Lawyer

Wintertime in the Chicago area can be brutal. With sub-zero temperatures, precipitation on side streets and highways can quickly turn to ice and cause an auto accident. If you or someone you know were hurt in a crash, contact our experienced Joliet car accident attorneys as soon as possible. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, we are committed to providing quality legal representation for injury victims. We will work tirelessly to ensure your rights to compensation are protected. To set up a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 815-727-0100. 


Source: 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1815&SeqStart=118400000&SeqEnd=120100000

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