This morning my wife, who regularly bikes to work, made it one block before spinning out of control on black ice. Upon her quick return home she exclaimed: “I’m happy no car was nearby otherwise there may have been a tragedy”

Mornings are dark, but even in light, black ice is nearly invisible. In fact, black ice is not black at all but virtually transparent. Black ice is easily mistaken for a wet road. Slow down when the road is appears wet and temperatures fall below 35 degrees. Black ice can form in temperatures several degrees above freezing when air quickly warms on frozen roadways. Black ice also forms when exhaust condensation freezes on roads.

So, how can a motorist or biker anticipate black ice? Look for ice pellets, snow or sleet. Black ice is more likely to form after rain or in the morning when sleet freezes. Black ice is a particular problem on bridges and overpasses. Black ice first develops on overpasses and bridges as a result of air circulating above and below the roadway.

Black ice is a frequent cause of single car accidents. If you are a passenger injured in a vehicle involved in a single car accident, you may have a claim against the driver for driving too fast for conditions. If that happens, report the accident to the driver’s insurance company. You and the driver will also have at least $15,000 of potential coverage under the driver’s no fault PIP (personal injury protection) coverage if the accident occurred in Oregon.

If you were a passenger injured in an accident caused by an out of control vehicle spinning or sliding out of control because of black ice, Portland lawyer Richard Rizk can help. Call (503) 245-5677.