The winter season is here, and for as pretty as the snow is when it covers the trees and roads, it brings many dangers for motorists, with one of the most threatening being slippery and hard-to-spot black ice.
Black ice forms when the air is at 32 degrees or below at the surface and rain is falling. The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, thus creating the ice.
Due to complexion, black ice is very hard to spot, but using a car thermometer as an initial gauge can be helpful in determining the road conditions. A car thermometer is made 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.
However, dude to the restrictions of a car’s thermometer, the best way to know if the roads are icy before heading out is to be aware of how, where, and when black ice forms. The prime time for ice to develop are around dawn and in the late evening, when temperatures are typically the lowest. During the day, the best thing to do before getting in a vehicle is to take a look at the pavement. If the pavement is dry but you see spots of pavement that look dark and glossy, there is a great chance that it is black ice. The most common locations for black ice to appear are shaded or tree-covered parts of driveways and roadways due to the lack of sunlight and bridges and overpasses because of their ability to freeze quickly.
While driving on black ice is similar to snow, the big difference between the two is the amount of traction the vehicle retains. Due to lack of traction a car has on ice, the basic rule for driving is to stay calm and let the vehicle pass over it.
Other tips for driving on black ice:
1. Do not hit the brakes, instead keep the steering wheel steady
2. Lift your foot off the accelerator.
3. Do not overcorrect your steering if you feel your car sliding
4. Use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses
5. Never use cruise control
6. Avoid unnecessarily changing lanes
7. Drive, turn, and break slowly
8. If you have anti-lock brakes, do not pump the pedal
9. Use your low-beam headlights
10. Remember, four-wheel drive doesn’t help you stop any faster.
Our service departments are here to get your winter ready