Altoona roads are susceptible to black ice in the winter, especially when nighttime temperatures dip below freezing after the snow has melted during a sunny day. You may not see ice on the road at night because it is transparent and glossy.
If someone drives recklessly or carelessly in icy conditions and injures you by crashing into your car, an auto collision attorney who is familiar with black ice car accidents in Altoona could help. Let one of our Altoona car accident attorneys take care of the legal burden so you can focus on recovery.
How to Predict Black Ice
While black ice may go undetected because it is so thin and blends in with the pavement, a glossy sheen may indicate that the road is slippery and dangerous. Other clues that black ice may have formed on the road include:
- Ice has formed on windshields, wipers, or side mirrors;
- Car windows are frosted;
- Slickness on road surface; and
- Icicles have formed on trees or road signs.
Drivers who suspect black ice should slow down and refrain from jerking the steering wheel or braking too hard. If a motor vehicle operator loses control of his or her car and collides with another driver as a result of black ice, an Altoona lawyer could review the accident’s circumstances to determine whether compensation is available for the injured party.
Driver Negligence on Icy Roads in Altoona
While driving cautiously is essential for avoiding accidents on black ice, it will not prevent all collision. If other drivers make errors on black ice, they may be liable for any damages caused by their negligence.
Because driving habits should adapt to account for changing weather conditions, what may count as reasonable driving may differ in good weather versus bad weather. For instance, driving the speed limit on black ice may be considered reckless.
Some tips for driving on black ice include:
- Clear snow and ice from windshields before driving;
- Do not activate cruise control;
- Drive with headlights on;
- Reduce speed to accommodate road conditions; and
- Leave plenty of room between moving cars.
Drivers who do not modify their behavior to accommodate for the possibility of black ice can be held accountable for another person’s injuries in the event of an otherwise preventable collision. A local attorney could analyze the facts of a car crash case and determine whether black ice played a major role in the sequence of events.
All licensed motorists in Pennsylvania are legally obligated to drive safely. If a driver breaches this duty and causes an accident, someone who is injured as a result could file a lawsuit to recover his or her damages.
Recoverable economic damages include medical bills, property damage, lost wages and a loss of future earning capacity. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are subjective and include pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, and emotional trauma.
On rare occasions an injured claimant may be awarded punitive damages to compensate his or her losses and punish the defendant for his or her malicious, intentional, or egregious behavior. For example, if he or she was speeding through a patch of black ice in a school zone when children were being dismissed, the court may consider awarding punitive damages if a child is hurt. An attorney in the Altoona area could help calculate how much a plaintiff can recover in damages after an auto collision involving black ice.
Let an Attorney Help after a Black Ice Car Crash in Altoona
Other drivers may not be conscientious of their driving habits during the winter or at night. If you are injured in a car crash in Altoona due to someone else’s negligent driving on roads slick with black ice, contact the attorneys at Marcus & Mack for an initial consultation.