Auto body shops dealing with black ice accidents

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE – There is concern about black ice as southern New England approaches freezing temperatures.

Some local auto body shops have been packed with cars picked apart by the icy roads in recent weeks. State Auto Body in Providence has seen a 15 percent increase in cars being brought in, according to Steve Paiva.

On icy roads, size doesn’t matter. “No matter if it’s a four wheel drive or an all-wheel drive, it doesn’t really make a difference,” said Paiva. “You just start sliding and you keep sliding…and there is no stopping it at that point until you hit another car.”

Residents of Cyprus Street in Providence told ABC6 News they have seen countless accidents along that hill. “Last storm, four people piled up,” explained Christine Washington. She recommends avoiding steep hills altogether during wintry conditions.

Drivers are also dealing with tight squeezes along side roads made narrower by piles from snow plows. “Sometimes when you’re going on a side street, it isn’t two lanes anymore,” explained Mary Sherlock of Pawtucket. “And if there’s a car there and you’re going in, you don’t see them until the very last minute.”

These high snow mounds can also create blind spots. Some drivers inching out to see oncoming traffic have ended up paying the price in auto repairs. “They’re pushing out a little bit too far,” said Paiva. “Cars are coming out along the road, not being able to stop because of the black ice and snow, and they’re sliding right into that person coming through that stop sign just easing out.”

© WLNE-TV 2015