The term black ice is not usually understood. However, those who operate a vehicle in conditions around 30 to 34 degrees may encounter it.
Black ice typically occurs when the air temperature reaches 32 degrees and it’s raining. When this happens, the ground temperature often causes the rain to freeze quickly. This creates a sheet of ice. It is usually nearly impossible to see. However, you can avoid accidents and car insurance claims by learning a few tips.
Realize Black Ice Could Be Present
It is very hard to see this type of ice on a ground surface. Instead, when the temperatures are right, assume it is there. Any time the temperature is around 32 degrees, and it is raining, assume moisture on the ground is black ice.
Don’t Stop Hard
The biggest mistake you can make when driving on this surface is to slam on your breaks. Your tires will try to stop but will likely be unable to do so. They may even spin, causing you to lose control.
Instead, take your foot off the gas and slowly press the brakes. Rather than trying to stop on the ice, try to maneuver the car away from it if possible and safe to do.
Keep the Steering Wheel Straight
When you find yourself on black ice, don’t try to turn the car rapidly. Again, the tires are probably not going to be able to stop. Rather, keep the wheel straight. Try to keep the vehicle moving in a forward motion, safely and evenly. Don’t step on the gas hard, either. Too much acceleration might lead to control losses.
Staying Safe on the Road
With black ice, the goal is to move the car over the ice by doing as little as possible with the steering and brakes. Of course, if you do believe ice is present, do not drive over this area. Being a safe driver means you know to avoid dangerous driving conditions. Whenever it is possible to avoid driving in icy conditions, do so. Or, choose roads that have ample salt on them to help reduce the presence of black ice.
Realize that black ice is quite dangerous because it is so hard to see, especially when it is dark outside. It does not have to be snowing and does not even have to be raining at the moment for this ice to be present. This sheet of ice can create very slick road conditions you will want to avoid. If you encounter an accident as a result of black ice, do not hesitate to contact your insurer.