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Drivers reminded that roads could also be slippery without rain

British Columbia drivers often have had to deal with slippery wet roads in the winter. However, safety authorities warn that road oil, a danger similar to black iceis a potential danger in the summertime. Motorists on cross-border trips could face significant problems should their vehicle tires lose grip. 

What is road oil? 

Vehicular traffic deposits random oils and asphalt on the road surface. During the rainy season, these deposits wash away. However, the lack of rain in dry spells allows the residues to build up, forming an invisible slippery service that can catch drivers unawares, similar to black ice during the winter. 

Because the oily deposits do not mix with water, rain usually exacerbates the danger. The oily residue forms a slick film between the vehicle’s tires and the road, preventing the tires from gripping onto the surface of the road. 

Example of such an incident

A recent accident in British Columbia reportedly involved a pickup truck driver navigating his way up a hilly street without being aware of the presence of road oil. The tires lost grip, causing the vehicle to slide all the way down the hill. The pickup truck finally came to a halt after smashing into a residence. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, but it could have ended much differently. 

Drivers who fail to take the necessary care might collide with other vehicles, in which case injured victims might sue them for damages. Victims of such accidents might have to deal with medical expenses, damaged cars and lost income. When such an incident involves cross-border personal injuries, dealing with the laws and insurance regulations of both countries could complicate the pursuit of financial relief. 

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