While weather is expected to get better across Pennsylvania in the coming days, the flash freeze that gripped the region over the weekend is being blamed for hundreds of accidents. Essentially, black ice is the culprit, the thin sheets of ice that can form over roads once moisture on them freezes as temperatures drop. It is also called black ice because it is virtually invisible to drivers until it is too late.
According to ABC News.com reports, many accidents occurred on the I-95 corridor. A 30 vehicle pile-up in New Jersey injured 16 people, and a 60 car chain reaction accident injured 30 people in New York. Additionally, countless fender benders were reported across the state and blamed on icy weather.
Icy conditions are part and parcel of winter weather in our region, however this does not mean that drivers should ignore the danger that comes with it. Drivers have a duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel, and part of that duty is to drive at speeds commensurate with weather conditions. When driving conditions deteriorate, drivers should slow down so that they have enough time (and enough room) to stop safely and avoid other hazards.
It is reasonable to suspect that many of the accidents blamed on black ice were due to sliding cars. Basically, a driver would suddenly brake and lose control of the car (or truck) after hitting ice and slide into another vehicle.