Buffalo Car Accidents Caused By Black Ice

Feb 2018

Buffalo auto accident attorneyWhen it comes to winter driving in New York, motorists in Buffalo are old pros. But even pros are no match for the dangers posed by black ice.

What may look like clear wet pavement might actually be a thin sheet of ice. Unlike snow and slush, where usually at least one tire will maintain some traction or steering ability, black ice can leave a vehicle uncontrollable and unstoppable. Even four-wheel drives are no match for this serious winter threat.

We reported last month on the dangers of intersection collisions during winter weather. While black ice may be present at intersections or on surfaces  where moisture is present in below-freezing temperatures, it is most common on bridges and overpasses.

Icy Conditions Are a Common Threat on New York Roads

Your only clue may be that the pavement will appear slightly darker and duller than the rest of the road surface, according to a recent report in the New York Times.

Experienced auto accident attorneys in Buffalo know the safest course of action is to just assume that black ice is present whenever traveling in freezing temperatures, especially at night.

Authorities advise those who do hit black ice to keep their foot off the gas. Hitting the brakes or turning the steering wheel can make matters worse.

Determining Fault in Winter Traffic Collisions

While winter weather can be a factor in many traffic collisions, it doesn’t alleviate a driver’s responsibility to use due care and maintain control of their vehicle. This can mean reducing speed, not following too closely, taking extra time to slow down when approaching turns or intersections, and otherwise making allowances for road and weather conditions.

New York Civil Law, Article 14-A-(1411-1413), follows a comparative negligence model. What this means is even if you are found partially at fault for a collision, you may still be able to make a recovery against the at-fault party. While this may make recovery possible, it can also make such cases more complex.

Damages can also be a tricky element to prove, especially if you don’t seek immediate medical attention. Defendants may have room to argue that your injury was not causally related to the crash or not as serious as you claim. Obtaining prompt medical treatment is important to help you document your injuries.

Consulting with an experienced auto accident attorney in Buffalo is important whenever a serious collision occurs, and especially so when weather is being blamed as a factor in a traffic accident. Quickly and carefully documenting conditions will be important as the evidence can literally melt away.

Because black ice can render a vehicle uncontrollable, a car may veer off the road, increasing the risk of serious injury. Such incidents may also result in collisions involving private property and property damage.

Leaving yourself a little extra time and using a little extra care can help keep you safe. Fortunately, spring is just around the corner.

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