Although it is not technically winter yet, a blast of cold Canadian air has swept through our region, sending our weather plummeting into temperatures that we generally do not see until January. Nevertheless, the cold air creates a number of hazards that drivers must be aware of.

Perhaps the most dangerous of these hazards is black ice; thin sheets of ice that cover streets and highways when moisture from precipitation quickly freezes because of cold temperatures. In some instances, new snowfalls will be melted by the heat of cars travelling over the road during the day, only to freeze as temperatures fall during the evening. 

Regardless of how black ice is created, it is unforgiving. It can cause drivers of any vehicle to lose control, regardless of how skilled the driver may be. Because of this, drivers across Colorado must be careful about their speed.

There are legal considerations to reducing speed in avoiding black ice as well. Drivers have a duty to use reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle. This means that they must act (or drive) using the precautions that a prudent person would, especially when road conditions become difficult. If a driver fails to take these precautions, and an accident occurs as a result, the driver could be held responsible for his or her actions. This means that people who are injured by the driver may seek compensation for their injuries.

Since the forecast calls for snow, followed by bitterly cold temperatures, the chances that black ice will show up on different roads should be great.

Source: DenverPost.com, “Snow, frigid cold continue Wednesday,” Kieran Nicholson, December 4, 2013