Black Ice — Be Prepared

February 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Posted in Auto, Reminders, Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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This time of year brings warmer days and freezing nights; the perfect conditions for creating black ice. When snow melts during the day and re-freezes at night black ice patches can form. Black ice can also appear when the heat from tires meets frozen roads. Black ice can take you by surprise because it looks like wet pavement, before you know it you could be spun in the opposite direction and off the road. Here are some tips to help you know what to look out for, and how to drive on roads that have black ice on them:

  • Black ice usually forms at night or early morning when temperatures are at their lowest.
  • Black ice forms on roads that are not exposed to sunshine such as back roads or tree-lined roads.
  • Bridges, overpasses, and the roads below them tend to develop black ice.
  • If you hit black ice – remain calm – do not slam the brakes, which will cause you to go into a skid.
  • Slow down by shifting into a lower gear instead of braking – this will give you more control.
  • If you do not have an anti-lock braking system, pump the brakes gently.
  • If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), firmly put your foot on the brake and the brakes will automatically pump for you.
  • Keep the steering wheel as straight as you can and if you feel the back-end of your car sliding left or right (fish-tailing), turn your wheel slightly in that direction. If you turn in the opposite direction you could skid or spin out of control.
  • Try to head towards a snow or grassy patch that may give you more traction.
  • Try to steer the car off of the road in an area that will cause the least amount of damage to your vehicle.

Always be aware of the weather conditions, stay alert, and drive with extra care! Black ice can be dangerous and scary. The best thing to do is stay off of the roads until the sanders have a chance to salt and clear the areas of black ice.

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