Black ice played a role in three car accidents in the Russian River area on Friday.

The accidents, which took place shortly before 6 a.m. at River and Wohler roads, were all minor with only one driver complaining of pain, the CHP said.

Sloat said the first vehicle hit the ice, spun out and overturned. Another car, he said, came along and hit the first one and a third car swerved to avoid the accident and ran off the road.

County roads crews were dispatched to the scene to spread sand at the intersection.

CHP officer Jon Sloat said CHP patrols have encountered several instances of black ice in the last couple of weeks with the temperatures dipping below freezing. He warned that drivers should slow down when driving under these conditions.

CHP in Lake and Mendocino counties also reported ice on the roadways.

"If you hit it you are probably not going to see it," Sloat said. "Don't hit the brakes, ride it out. If you hit the brakes and lose traction, you're car is going to continue moving in the last direction it was pointed. And if that's a curve, that's not good news."

He said that once you clear the black ice your car tires should quickly gain traction.

Black ice can be more prevalent in areas that remain wet, "especially the west county where there are some areas that just don't dry out," he said.

Sloat also advised drivers to avoid starting their cars in the morning and leaving them alone to warm up and defrost.

"We've had several vehicles stolen this week," he said, adding that it's also "illegal to leave a car with the engine running unattended."

He said "there are car thieves out there who wait for these temperatures and will case neighborhoods looking for an opportunity."