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What Is Black Ice & How To Avoid It

Have you ever heard about Black Ice aka Clear Ice? Black ice is an invisible sheet of ice on a road or another outdoor surface that forms at a freezing temperature. It is extremely dangerous to drive on, as it can make driving nearly impossible. You may not immediately realize that the white crystalline residue you see on the black ice road is, in fact, black ice. There are various types of black ice, but all are hazardous and have the potential to cause your vehicle to skid or slide off the road. Here, Doug Yates Towing & Recovery discusses black ice and ways to avoid it to reduce the risk of getting into an accident.

How To Identify Black Ice?

Black ice is often found in shady areas or underpasses where there aren’t any streetlights or other sources of light. But even if you see black ice, you may not realize its danger until after your vehicle has started sliding uncontrollably across the road. 

How To Avoid Black Ice

Black ice forms when water vapor condenses on a surface like a road or a sidewalk. The resulting film of ice is extremely thin and transparent, making it difficult to see. Black ice can form under seemingly dry surfaces, so it can be difficult to spot before you drive over it.

Pay Attention To the Local Weather Forecast

If you see that there will be snow or rain coming soon, take extra precautions when traveling in your vehicle. Watch out for any alerts about black ice during these times.

Watch For Tire Spray

Black ice forms when water on the road freezes onto the road surface. When tires pass over the frozen water, they spray tiny droplets that freeze onto the road surface. This creates a thin layer of ice that contributes to black ice conditions.

Watch For Lighter or Darker Spots on the Road

If you notice lighter or darker spots on your windshield while driving at night, this could be an indication of black ice ahead. These spots are often caused by tire spray from cars ahead who have already driven over patches of black ice and spun out.

Drive In a Lane and At a Speed You Are Comfortable With

If you see these signs or feel like something is wrong, reduce speed and drive in one lane until you reach safer ground. Do not make sudden turns or try to brake suddenly, as this will cause you to lose control of your vehicle and possibly slide into another vehicle or other objects nearby, like trees or poles.

No Sudden Turns

Turning quickly or braking suddenly can cause your wheels to lose traction, which could lead to spinning out of control or losing control of your car. If you need to turn or stop suddenly, do so gradually and slowly.

Try To Slow Down Naturally Without Pressing the Brake

Don’t hit the brake pedal immediately if you find yourself on black ice. Instead, try easing off the gas pedal and steering into the skid. This will slow down your vehicle without causing you to lose control of it completely. The faster you go, the more likely you will hydroplane or lose control of your car.

Four-Wheel Drive Doesn’t Help With Black Ice

Some think that four-wheel drive vehicles will help them safely get through black ice because they have extra traction on all four wheels. While this might be true in some situations, it isn’t true all the time. Four-wheel drive is helpful in snow or mud situations but not in black ice conditions. 

Avoid Cruise Control

Cruise control may seem like a good option for winter driving because it helps maintain a constant speed, but it could also make it harder for you to react if there’s any problem with traction or braking performance. Plus, if your vehicle starts going too fast due to icy conditions or other factors, cruise control may push you faster, losing complete control.

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There’s Always a Risk

The ice is clear because there isn’t much water in it. It can be difficult to see because it looks like a very thin sheet of glass on top of the road. Sometimes there may be some snow mixed in with the ice, so you can drive over it without knowing. However, when you hit clear ice, your car will slide uncontrollably and lose traction at any speed. This means that even if you’re driving slowly and don’t think you’re going fast enough to cause an accident, you can still lose control and crash if there is black ice on the road.

Black ice can be quite risky and occasionally result in needing roadside assistance. Don’t waste any time calling for roadside assistance. You can find Doug Yates Towing & Recovery by searching for a towing service near me. We will help get you to a safe area as quickly as possible. 

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