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Black Ice is Invisible but Deadly

Snow and Ice Expert Jeremy Swenson

It isn’t really black but clear, and because its transparency shows the color of asphalt below it got the name black ice. Every year hundreds of people die and thousands are injured on icy roads across America, often because drivers can’t see the danger ahead on the roadway.

CHICAGO (WLS) — Freezing rain and black ice led to hundreds of crashes – three of them fatal – on Chicago area expressways Wednesday morning.

That is a line from a news story in 2018. Three people killed in one morning demonstrates how dangerous black ice is.

Snow and Ice Expert Jeremy Swenson

Many people think of black ice being dangerous only when driving at high speeds on highways and certainly that is when a lot of serious accidents happen, but even in parking lots at lower speeds it can be a serious issue. Some drivers start their car on cold mornings and then have their cars slide right down their driveways into the street. Parking lots with black ice are dangerous in many ways because even though people may be driving slowly, there are usually pedestrians present and they can be knocked down by cars that can’t stop.

Black ice usually originates when snow and ice begin to melt but then the temperature suddenly drops. The ice can be almost invisible but it is very real and very dangerous. Cars have a difficult time steering and stopping but probably the most frightening event is when tires hydroplane on a thin layer of water on top of ice or the road. At this point tires lose contact with anything solid and motor vehicles are basically out of control at this point and even professional drivers are basically helpless.

Snow and Ice Expert Jeremy Swenson

If you own commercial property with parking lots it’s possible that black ice could pose a real threat to the safety of drivers and pedestrians. If you have questions about your responsibilities regarding snow and ice management, Jeremy Swenson can likely help you with solid answers. Call Mr. Swenson at 816-564-9131 to schedule a consultation.

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