Your Winter Service Berlin
Black Ice / Icy Conditions
Icy conditions or black ice is what happens when ice forms on streets, generally late in the evening or at night, when temperatures drop to below freezing. Icy conditions can also occur during the day when temperatures suddenly drop to below 0° C when it has rained and the roads are still wet. Rain is the precondition for icy conditions or black ice, sometimes the source can be orchard sprinklers that offer protection against frost, or fire water or water main bursts, when the water cannot drain off and accumulates on the street or the pavement. Puddles and other water residues are therefore a particular source of danger. Winter situations that are popular with children who like to sled can have painful consequences for pedestrians and drivers. Icy conditions must be taken literally. The frozen patches are not only very slippery. A film of water can form on the ice when the temperature is around freezing, which increases the danger of sliding. Compared to black ice, which covers the whole street, icy conditions are potentially less dangerous. A car that hits the ice with only one wheel can continue to be steered. But one must remember that it is possible that an even larger patch of ice has formed as a result of icy conditions.
On the other hand, drivers are forewarned of icy conditions. As they tend to take shape at night, the evening or early morning, weather reports will indicate that they 3 are arriving. You can verify it is true before you get behind the steering wheel of your car. If the icy conditions are limited to certain parts of the road, traffic can continue if drivers adjust their driving accordingly. It is essential to drive considerably slower when driving in potentially dangerous areas, including bridges and other places where the ground can be colder than the surroundings, similar as with other winter impediments. The air temperature which is measured by a vehicle equipped with an ice warning system is an indicator. At any rate, the best way to prevent accidents from happening is to adjust one’s driving to winter conditions.
One cannot rely on the road maintenance crew being on the road when conditions are icy. Frequently only a small number of places are icy so that the road maintenance services expect drivers to adjust their driving to prevent accidents from happening. You should, however, make sure that there is no ice on the pavement, if you own a house and if you are responsible for clearing the pavement in front of your house to make it safe. You have the obligation to do so and should take it seriously so that pedestrians are kept out of harm's way.