How to Drive Safely on Black Ice

Although the holidays are over, winter is just beginning. Temperatures continue to drop in the northern states and snow seems to be on the weather forecast.

Whether you’ve already had a few snow flurries this year or you’re hunkering down in preparation of the first storm, you should be aware of dangers outside of snow.

Black ice is extremely dangerous to drive on. There are 536,731 crashes annually due to icy roads.

New to driving and not sure how to drive on black ice? We lay out the best tips to keep you stay safe this winter. Check it out below!

What is Black Ice?

If you’ve never experienced black ice before, you may not know what it is. Black ice is a thin layer of ice on ground surfaces. Contradicting to its name, the ice isn’t actually black but see through.

When this black ice forms on blacktop or roadways it can appear black. This is often overlooked as part of the road, which makes it extremely hazardous to drive or even walk on.

How to Drive on Black Ice

Now that you know what black ice is, you need to know how to drive safely on it if or when you need to. Check out some of our important tips below.

Keep an Eye on Temperature Changes

The first thing you’ll want to do before even getting in the car is looking at the weather. Has there been a drop in temperature after a day of rain or melting snow?

This is the most likely time for black ice to form, so you’ll want to head out prepared.

Drive Slow

Unlike with snow, your tires won’t catch any traction when driving over black ice. This is why you’ll want to drive slow and steady, even if you see no signs of black ice on the road.

As we mentioned above, black ice is hard to see on roadways, which is what makes it that much more dangerous to drivers.

Remain Calm

If you’ve never encountered black ice before, your first reaction might be to jerk the wheel or stomp on the breaks.

Don’t! You must remain calm to keep yourself safe.

Instead, keep the wheel straight as your car passes over the ice. If you feel your car swerving, gently turn your wheel in the same direction. This will help you avoid getting into an accident, causing any dents or scratches to your car.

If you’re driving a manual car, you may need to shift into a lower gear. This will help give you more control over the car.

Avoid Braking

While you may remain calm after sliding on black ice, you may want to hit the brakes. This is another thing you’ll want to avoid, though.

Begin to de-accelerate by taking your foot off the gas. If you do need to slow the car down, do so by pumping the brakes. Remember to remain calm and keep the car straight until you’ve completely passed over the ice patch.

Tips on How to Drive on Black Ice

There you have it! While it’s extremely hard to see let alone avoid black ice, it’s important for you to know how to drive on it. This is especially true if you live in colder climates with heavy snowfall.

For more information on everything cars like automotive safety make sure to check out our website! Safe driving!

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