Spot Black Ice and Know How to React
Many of us can’t avoid driving in the winter, but we can make sure we’re prepared for anything mother nature may throw our way. One of winter’s biggest driving hazards is black ice, a thin, transparent layer of ice that can form on any surface. Black ice often forms when the air temperature is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but the ground temperature is below it. Knowing where to look for it and how to spot it can help save you from a scary encounter.
Where Will it Form and Linger
Black ice, also known as clear ice, will form on any surface. Bridges and overpasses are most prone to forming black ice due to the bottom of the structure being exposed to the air as well as the surface. Always use caution when driving over bridges and overpasses during colder months. Black ice is also most likely to form overnight when the sun goes down and the temperature drops. Early morning commuters should always drive with caution as water sitting on a roadway could have frozen over night. Roadways with heavy tree coverage are also likely to see lingering black ice as sunlight is unable to warm the roadway as easily as open roads.
React with Caution
Spotting black ice can be tricky as it is a transparent layer of ice that blends in with the roadway. However, if you are driving during the day and notice a glossy spot on the road ahead, try your best to avoid the patch or slow down. If you pass a patch of black ice and your car begins to slide, don’t panic. Remove your foot from the brake and gas pedals and let the vehicle travel on its own. If your back-end kicks out, carefully turn your steering wheel in the direction it kicked out. Do not oversteer and do not try to counter it and turn the wheel in the opposite direction or you are likely to spin out. Once you are off the patch of ice and have regained control of the vehicle, you may slowly begin to accelerate again.
Be safe this winter, and follow this blog or sign up for our emails for more safety tips and reminders delivered right to your inbox! In need of new tires this winter to keep you and your family safe? Make an appointment with the service center at Montpelier Volkswagen today!