Black Ice: How to Spot This Winter Driving Danger

The prime times for the devel­op­ment of this ice are around dawn and in the late evening, when tem­per­a­tures are typ­i­cal­ly the low­est.

A car ther­mome­ter, like any dig­i­tal ther­mome­ter, tries to find the air’s ambi­ent tem­per­a­ture. So, if a vehicle’s ther­mome­ter is close to freez­ing, the car dri­ver should be cau­tious on the roads.

Avoid shady areas where ice may not have yet thawed. Roads run­ning under over­pass­es and bridges are also sus­cep­ti­ble to black-ice for­ma­tion, since the sun can’t evap­o­rate water as effi­cient­ly.

What should you do when you hit black ice?

First step is to stay calm. Don’t over­steer or brake hard. Pump brakes and use small cor­rec­tions to keep from los­ing con­trol. Avoid using cruise con­trol when con­di­tions may be icy, since cruise con­trol can actu­al­ly accel­er­ate your car when the tires lose trac­tion. Dri­ve smooth­ly and slow­ly when the weath­er is bad, and if ice is par­tic­u­lar­ly preva­lent, skip going out alto­geth­er and stay home.

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