During the winter months, Maine roadways often experience freezing temperatures that bring snow, ice storms, and black ice. Many motorists adjust their habits when the weather is visibly dangerous; however, some dangerous conditions are not apparent. One of the most threatening conditions is black ice. Drivers are more likely to experience serious injuries in a Maine car accident caused by black ice. Although some of these accidents are unavoidable, many involve some degree of negligence.
Black ice forms when snow or moisture in the air rapidly freezes and attaches to the frozen pavement. Freezing rain usually traps air and becomes visible on the roadways; in contrast, black ice is usually clear and unnoticeable. In some cases, black ice forms naturally; however, in other situations, black ice forms because of some defect in roadway maintenance. Poorly maintained or designed roadways can make black ice more likely to occur. Black ice usually occurs after mild rainfall on roads that are at a higher elevation or do not get direct light. This is especially concerning because areas that do not get direct light are often around a curve or near large trees. Drivers often approach these areas suddenly and do not have time to control their car from spinning.
For example, a recent Maine news report described a black ice accident involving several collisions. According to police, a truck slid on black ice and crossed a center line, hitting a Jeep. Shortly afterward, three other black ice crashes occurred within minutes of each other. The most serious accident occurred when a sedan rolled over after the driver lost control after skidding on black ice. The icy road conditions resulted in four injuries.