Black Ice

Shortly before noon I was traveling west on Highway 50 (divided four lane), going about 50 miles per hour. My lane appeared to be free of snow but had patches of black ice (which I guess I always thought of as some mythical substance). There were no cars close to me and I wasn’t changing lanes.


With no warning or sense I was losing control, my Toyota 4Runner seemed to move sideways, off the highway to the right, almost immediately I struck a metal signpost head on. Fortunately some brilliant engineer had designed these posts with hinges so it broke away with just enough impact to deploy the airbags. A good trick for a 17 year old vehicle (thank you, Toyota). A ravine full of scraggly small trees brought the vehicle to a stop.


Called 911 and within minutes local and county folks were on the scene and a bit later the wrecker pulled the 4Runner out. I walked away with a bloody nose from the airbags (yes, I was wearing seatbelt and shoulder harness) and some bumps and scrapes.

I can’t think of much I could have done to avoid this, other than drive a lot slower than 50 mph. My first accident in 50 years of driving and I was lucky. Could have hit another car or something less movable.