Even the biggest of trucks won’t save you

Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS DRIVE SAFELY: The slush piled up on Market Street will soon be black ice in the coming days.

DRIVE SAFELY: The slush piled up on Market Street will soon be black ice in the coming days.

It’s your first week behind the wheel of your brand new, eight-cylinder, four-wheel-drive, fire-truck red beast. What better way to test out your truck’s capability by hitting the open road in severe winter weather? Weather that has left much of eastern North Carolina incased in ice.

On Thursday, weathermen are calling for a high of 19 degrees and a low of a bone-chilling 1 degree. And yes, it’s never a good thing when the word degrees finds itself in the singular form. Friday won’t be any better with a high of 20 and a low of 13.

Like the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 American League Championship Series, the precipitation, which came in the form of freezing rain, we received on Monday night/Tuesday morning is going to make a comeback today. It won’t be the visible piles or ice sheets we saw earlier in the week. Rather, it’s going to be black ice, a sneaky little product of sub-freezing temperatures that is tough to combat on the roads.

It’s conditions most eastern Carolinians aren’t accustomed too and, as we’ve seen in winter’s past, unnecessary and avoidable accidents are usually the end product.

It begins with overconfidence. A driver sees a little bit of ice, or maybe even no ice at all (sometimes it’s invisible), and thinks he or she can drive exactly like he or she would in normal conditions. Then, once that driver tries to turn as they would on a sunny day, say, going 10-15 miles an hour, he or she spins out, ending up in the nearest ditch or front yard.

Overconfidence can also be brought on by Beaufort County’s favorite motor vehicle, the truck. Attributes like four-wheel drive, anti-lock breaks and eight-cylinder engines can lead to poor decision making on the roads. Because, when it comes to thin layers of invisible, dense ice, it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re driving a Ford F-450 or a Fiat. If you don’t take the necessary precautions when driving, your next phone call could be to Triple-A.

While we’re all prone to exceeding the speed limit every once in a while, when it comes to dangerous conditions, everyone needs to make sure to drive slow enough to come to a full stop without sliding; everyone needs to double check to see if all of their vehicle’s windows are cleared; and everyone should be more aware of the surroundings than usual.