Wait Is That Ice? Black Ice Dangers

Posted on: February 1st, 2019 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

black ice driving tipsBlack Ice Driving Tips

We’ve already experienced a few dangerous days this winter in Colorado, but as we head into the heavy snow-and-ice season that February and March so often brings in the Front Range, it’s a good time to brush up on how to handle one of the season’s most dangerous hazards with some black ice driving tips. After all, as your Denver auto body shop, we do want you to be safe out there on the ice-covered road.

What Is Black Ice

Despite it’s name, black ice is actually clear, but is named as such because it’s so thin and so clear that it’s often unidentifiable on the road. Most frequently, this slippery substance forms when the air is at or below 32 degrees at the surface of the road. These conditions cause the precipitation to freeze on contact, creating the dangerous, nearly invisible stuff.

Take Extra Precautions

There isn’t anything you can really do to prevent black ice from existing, but you can take extra precautions as a driver to make sure that you don’t fall victim to its sneakiness and find yourself in an accident or a ditch. While not foolproof, the thermometer in your vehicle can help you keep an eye on how cold the roads might be, and whether or not you need to ensure you’re keeping your eyes peeled for black ice on your commute. Some newer models even have indicators that will warn you when the roads might be icy.

Give yourself extra time when winter weather arises, to get where you need to be, and drive defensively. Stay alert. If the roads are mostly dry, but you see patches that look dark and glossy, there’s a good chance that could be black ice – proceed with caution!

When Does it Form?

Since it can be tricky to know where black ice might be, a helpful precaution is to know more about where and when it forms. The ideal time for black ice to freeze is between sunset and sunrise when temperatures are typically at their lowest, and there is no influence of the sun to melt things away. Shaded areas, as well as bridges and overpasses, are prime areas for black ice to form, so driving with extra caution in these areas during the winter is advised.

Don’t Brake

This is probably our most important of all our black ice driving tips. If you find yourself on a patch of black ice and feel your vehicle sliding, resist the urge to brake. Chances are this will only cause you to spin further out of control and cause skidding. Instead, keep your wheel steady and straight, and try to get through the icy patch safely.

Be Careful of Overcorrection

When your vehicle begins sliding on ice, be wary of overcorrecting. Like we’ve suggested in our winter driving tips article, steering into the skid is often the safest choice, but do so carefully.

Black ice can be extremely dangerous for vehicles on the road, but with a little preparation, you can handle a run-in with the slippery stuff fairly successfully. Ideally, your city does a good enough job of salting that it’s rarely an issue, but when the winter weather rages, it’s good to know you have the knowledge to cover any salting gaps that might exist.

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