The Dangers of Black Ice

My husband and I were having a conversation the other day and we both mentioned that neither one of us went outside with the last snow we had that covered the ground, streets, and our driveway.  Here in the south where we live, we don’t get much snow.  The average annual snowfall for the city I live in is only about 5 inches.  We’ve actually had more snow here in January (8 inches) than we’ve had in years.  Here we often get ice or ice under a layer of snow.  It’s also not uncommon for us to get black ice.  Let me tell you, it makes for dangerous walking and driving.

I used to love to get out and walk in the snow, especially on moonlit nights.  Not anymore.  My husband commented he doesn’t like to get out in it either.  I asked him if this meant that we are just getting old.  His answer was that he just didn’t feel as sure-footed walking on wet or slippery surfaces since he had his hip replacement.  And yes, he and I both fear falling.  I remember both before and after his surgery, the orthopedist really stressed for him NOT to fall.  It was told to him over and over, that falling wasn’t an option.  The nurses told him this as well as his physical therapists.  When they would tell him this, I was puzzled, because after all, most falls are accidents and most people don’t “plan” to fall or fall on purpose.  I just thought it sounded rather stupid anytime someone would tell him not to fall.  But whatever.

One year ago on Valentines Day, we had an ice storm.  Our news stations ran this story and video and it makes me cringe every time I watch it.  It made an impression on me and my husband.  It’s a video of a young couple who were on their way to go work out in a gym.  Unbeknownst to them, there is a layer of black ice on their front porch steps (which are kinda similar to our front porch steps).  Watch what happens.

I think it was the man’s gut instinct to help her and so he reacted and went down too.  Ouch!  They were bruised and banged up but thankfully, they weren’t hurt seriously.  Can you imagine if that would have been an older couple in their 70s 80s or 90s?  Or what if someone was carrying a baby in their arms?  Yikes!

That same day, I went out to empty our trash.  There was black ice on our pea gravel concrete driveway.  I discovered that the hard way.  Like this couple, I was clueless that there was any ice whatsoever.  I slipped and slid and skated right into those trash cans and did a dance to keep from falling.  Thankfully, I caught myself on the handle of the trash bin and didn’t fall.  I noticed the top of our trash bins were covered with a thick glaze of ice.  The streets, like my driveway, looked totally innocuous, but they were just like this porch.  Scary.

So yeah, this is why hubby and I don’t venture out much now when we do get ice or snow.  We think of this video.

Gail

About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
This entry was posted in Aging, winter and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Dangers of Black Ice

  1. 😟 Looks like she fell even harder than he did, OW! I’m glad you two aren’t risking similar!

    • Gail says:

      My sister couldn’t quit wondering WHY the man didn’t help her up and just let her lay there while he walked around the yard! Somewhere there is another video where they were interviewed afterwards because SO many people wondered if they were hurt! Yes, it looks like she fell much harder and on her back. It hurts me to watch it.

  2. I didn’t realize those steps were so steep! An older person would’ve likely broken some bones. I always keep some clay cat litter handy to throw out on the porch. I’ve watched the dogs scramble on ice when they go out. Kinda funny since they have 4 legs to deal with. They never seem to be amused though. hahaha!

    • Gail says:

      Just recently when we had some snow and an ice storm too, my sister complained that she couldn’t find cat litter anywhere. I told her it was because people buy it when there is ice and sprinkle it around. The next week it was back in the stores.

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