Featured News 2018 Who Is to Blame for Car Accidents Involving Black Ice & Hydroplaning?

Who Is to Blame for Car Accidents Involving Black Ice & Hydroplaning?

The winter season is still ongoing, but many motorists become less cautious once they have driven through unfavorable weather for a few months. As spring is around the corner, snow begins to melt, and rain falls more frequently. These conditions lead over-confident drivers to push the boundaries of safety. Unfortunately, this season produces some of nature's worst culprits for car accidents: black ice and hydroplaning.

What Is Black Ice?

Black ice is simply ice that freezes on roads. This happens when it is not cold enough outside for snow to fall all the way to the ground. Therefore, snow melts to rain, hits the roads, and then freezes over. As motorists approach this ice, they have difficulty identifying where the ice might be. If the motorist was able to identify the ice, they would slow down; however, since the ice is hidden in plain sight—hence the term "black ice"—drivers can speed over the ice and lose control of their vehicles. Typically, black ice makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a car to stop, leading the driver to rear-end another motorist.

What Is Hydroplaning?

Similar to black ice, hydroplaning is another driving hazard that results from the rain. When temperatures are not low enough to freeze rain, it can lead to raindrops pooling on the top of the pavement. These drops mix with oil residues left by exhaust and other vehicles to create a slippery surface. When a motorist tries to use their brakes or make a quick turn on this mixture of "oil-water," the tires can fail to catch the pavement—resulting in a "hydroplane." The car will glide across the water, and the driver will be unable to steer or stop the car properly as it skids. In fact, the number one rule for a motorist who is hydroplaning is to take their foot off the brake, as there is nothing they can do but ride out the hydroplane.

Who Is at Fault for Hydroplane Accidents?

As stated above, motorists may be unaware of the black ice that has accumulated on the road. Additionally, motorists may be completely unable to steer their car when they hit black ice or hydroplane. For this reason, some motorists may think that an accident involving black ice or hydroplaning is a "no-fault" incident. This is not true.

If a motorist crashes on their own, or if they crash into other cars, due to skidding on black ice or hydroplaning, he or she could be held fully responsible for causing the incident. While the accident was partially caused by a force of nature, the driver may be held responsible for not accounting for the weather conditions. The driver may be found at fault for not being cautious, resulting in an accident. Maybe the motorist was driving too fast for the given scenario or maybe they weren't paying attention and didn't realize how close they were to the car ahead of them. In either case, the motorist whose car became uncontrollable due to the weather conditions could be found fully liable for the accident.

Dealing with Injuries from Black Ice & Hydroplaning

If you have been injured by a driver who skidded across black ice or hydroplaned on rainwater, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries. You shouldn't have to pay for your injury when it wasn't your fault. If you need money for medical bills, car repairs, and other accident-related costs, you should seek out a trusted personal injury attorney who can help you make your situation right.

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