Posted on: Jan. 29, 2017 in Driving, Weather, Safety

Do you live where it’s cold? If so, you’ve probably heard about the dangers of black ice.


Black ice is a thin coat of ice that forms on the road. It’s so thin, in fact, that it’s very difficult to see on the pavement in front of you. Typically, it forms when the ground temperature is at 32 degrees or lower and rain, sleet, freezing rain, or snow is falling. The precipitation will freeze upon hitting the ground and immediately turn to ice. Black ice can also form when snow begins to melt and then turns to ice when the ground temperature dips below freezing.

Black ice can form at any time of day, but it is even more likely to develop at dawn and dusk when temperatures tend to be lower. Knowing the weather where and when you’ll be driving is always your first defense against black ice. If you know temperatures are set to drop, you’ll want to be extra cautious as you drive. Slow down, keep a safe following distance, and do not allow yourself to become distracted. You’ll need all your focus to stay safe.

If you see a patch of pavement that looks dark and glossy when the rest of the road looks dry, that patch is likely ice. When you have snow, your tires are still able to retain some traction. With ice, you’ll have no traction which can lead to sliding or spinning out. If you hit ice, the best thing you can do is to remain calm as your car passes over it.

Even with the most intense focus and care, it’s still possible to drive over ice. If you do, follow these three tips.

  1. Do not hit the brakes. Focus on keeping your steering steady. Braking can cause you to slide more.
  2. Take your foot off the gas. Accelerating while on the ice will not help and can actually make it worse.
  3. Do not over-correct your steering wheel. If you turn the wheel too far instead of pointing it in the direction you want to be going, you’ll end up sliding more.

The best course of action is to avoid driving when the roads could be icy. If you must venture out, use caution while on the road.

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