Today may be sunny in Memphis, but we’ve seen more than our fair share of gusty winds, rainfall, and cold nights as of late. This time of year, you can never be too cautious behind the wheel. Today, as an auto accident lawyer Memphis TN trusts, I want to take a minute to talk about driving on icy roads, and on black ice in particular.

As the Tennessee Highway Patrol reminded drivers in a recent warning about our stormy weather, sometimes a stretch of road that simply looks wet is actually a dangerous — and almost undetectable — threat for drivers: black ice. It’s slippery, it’s hard to spot, and it can be deadly.

What is black ice?

Black ice is a clear coating of ice that lies on top of paved surfaces, like roads and sidewalks. Its name comes from its undetectable nature and how seamlessly it blends with its surroundings.

Why does black ice form?

  • Sleet
  • Refreezing of melted snow
  • Rainstorms during temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less

It is extremely dangerous. As Julie Lee, national director of AARP Driver Safety, told AccuWeather, “The biggest danger [with black ice] is that you are at the mercy of your vehicle and the ice until your car passes over it.”

It’s a hazard for pedestrians, too. As you know, slip and falls spike this time of year, and black ice is a major cause.

Practice our tips for winter driving

Please, stay safe out there. If you must drive in icy conditions, the following tips can help prevent an accident.

  • As much as possible, stay in one lane. During these icier months, changing lanes increases your chance of hitting black ice and losing control.
  • Drive more slowly. Alter your speed to meet the conditions of the road. Take specific precautions to turn and brake with caution.
  • Leave extra room between you and the car ahead of you — three times the usual distance is a good rule of thumb.
  • Avoid braking on ice. As I mentioned above, sometimes ice is impossible to detect. If you do manage to spot a patch of ice in front you, however, brake in advance as much as possible. Avoid skidding by slowly easing off the pedal.

Get legal help from an auto accident lawyer Memphis TN trusts

As always, I hope you stay safe out there, and that the tips above lower your risk of a collision. But if you ever need help, and not just this time of year, our experienced lawyers are here for you.

We understand the physical and emotional toll of a car accident. If you or a loved one has been the victim of another driver’s phone use, call us to get the compensation you need and deserve.

Contact us online today or call 901-327-1212 to speak in person with a Memphis car accident attorney.