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Why melting snow may lead to black ice

The recent snow storms in Buffalo and greater Eerie County have been historic in the amounts that have fallen. Residents and businesses alike have been digging out for days on end. Now it appears that an equally historic warm up is imminent, which raises the possibility of flooding.

If things could not get worse after that, temperatures are bound to fall later in the week, which may bring about the possibility of icy roads just in time for the holiday weekend. With that said, we find it prudent to discuss the dangers of black ice. 

This is the term given to large, thin sheets of ice that form on streets and highways after moisture freezes as temperatures fall. Black ice is largely invisible to the naked eye, which makes it that much more dangerous for drivers, because there is hardly any reaction time once a driver hits a patch of ice.

Drivers can quickly lose control of their vehicles once hitting black ice. In fact, during the winter months, multi-car pile ups due to a driver not being able to stop in time to avoid another vehicle are almost as common as one car accidents where a car slides into a ditch.

Are there ways to avoid black ice accidents? Certainly there are. Of course, driving at speeds that are conducive for the conditions is a start. After all, many accidents occur because cars cannot stop in time, or their momentum continues over an icy patch. Also, driving for the conditions is part of the legal duty to use reasonable care that every driver in New York must adhere to. 

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