Many drivers are unaware of this slippery winter road culprit. Thousands of injuries and fatalities occur every year from accidents on snowy or icy roads. Many drivers are unaware of a common culprit in many of these crashes, black ice.
So, what is Black Ice?
It’s a transparent glaze that forms without bubbles, allowing it to easily blend into the surface of the roads.
Black ice is most likely to form when there is a sudden temperature drop, such as in the early morning and evening hours. Common problem areas are bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas of the road. These areas have much colder surfaces that rapidly freeze when air moisture makes contact, especially if they’re near lakes or rivers.
How can you protect yourself from this hidden winter hazard?
Use these tips to prepare your vehicle for driving on black ice or unexpected icy conditions:
*Winter Tires. Switch out your standard tires to winter tires once the temp starts to drop. If your vehicle is regularly exposed to driving in snowy and icy conditions, the grip and handling provided by these weather specific tires will be better than all-season tires.
*Slow Down. When conditions exist for an increased possibility of black ice, exhibit caution by driving slower than the posted speed limit and extending your braking distance. This could give you more time to react calmly if you’re caught on black ice.
Learn possible warning signs of black ice
In favorable conditions, be on high alert. Black ice looks a lot like wet pavement. Other indicators could include:
*Cars suddenly swerving or skidding
*Absence of water spray on what you think is a wet road
*Shiny surfaces next to a dull black
*Brake lights ahead
*Cars or tire tracks in the ditch
Black ice is a serious threat to driving and transporting cars safely. Be careful out there.