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Cold weather could be hazardous to drivers

While the Carolinas should be basking in anticipation for this Sunday’s playoff game between the Panthers and 49ers, people throughout North and South Carolina are dealing with the coldest weather of the season. According to the National Weather Service, the subfreezing temperatures that came yesterday could stick around until Wednesday.

Fortunately, temperatures should return to normal by game time. Meteorologists predict that the mercury at kick off should be 55 degrees; a far cry for the 49ers, who survived the bone-chilling temps at Lambeau Field. Nevertheless, the icy blast makes for some challenging driving conditions in the meantime. We have discussed the dangers of black ice in a previous post, but it is such a dangerous hazard that it deserves revisiting. 

Black ice commonly forms when moisture on wet streets freezes and creates a thin layer of ice. It could come from exhaust fumes that create condensation that freezes as temperatures remain below 32 degrees. Drivers usually do not see black ice until they are sliding out of control. Because of this invisible hazard, it is prudent for drivers to reduce their speed so that if they hit a patch of ice, they are less likely to lose control of their vehicle.

This is an example of the duty to use reasonable care that every driver in North Carolina owes to the driving public. If this duty is breached (by failing to use such care) and an accident occurs as a result, the offending driver could be held liable by those injured in the accident.

Source: CharlotteObserver.com, “Weather Guy: Saturday update on our cold and Sunday’s NFL games,” Steve Lyttle, January 4, 2014

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