Insurance Blog

Black Ice – A Dangerous Challenge for Drivers

winter-driving-2Black ice occurs when the surface of roads and walkways freeze suddenly. It is usually unexpected and nearly invisible, and so it is a particular challenge to drivers. Before heading out on the roadways this winter, you should know ll you can about black ice.

Black Ice Formation

When light snow or rain reaches the frozen concrete or asphalt road surface, instant freezing usually occurs and causes a thin layer of clear ice. The black road surface shows through the almost-invisible ice – giving it the name “black ice”.

Black Ice is Especially Dangerous

Black ice tends to be quite smooth and thus more slippery than other icy conditions that have more irregular surfaces offering more traction. Because of the tendency of black ice to be invisible, drivers might not even be aware of it until they are already driving on it. So there is no time to avoid it.

Are Some Road Surfaces More Prone to Black Ice?

Those patches of road that are heavily shaded by trees and buildings will be more likely to have black ice as will underpasses and tunnels because they do not warm as quickly. Moreover, the surface of bridges which are at higher elevations more exposed to winds often have black ice.

Is it Possible to Drive Safely on Black Ice?

If you cannot avoid driving in an area when conditions are right for black ice, then be sure to use extreme caution. Turn off your cruise control and slow down.The moment you sense that your car might be on the slippery surface of black ice, steer carefully and do not make any sudden, sharp steering motions. Try to maneuver slowly and carefully to an area that is black ice free.

How to Recover From a Black Ice Skid

If you find yourself into a skid, the technique you’ll use to recover depends upon what type of vehicle you are driving – whether it has front- or rear- wheel drive, all-wheel drive with or without antilock brakes. See “How do I recover from a black ice skid in a front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive car?” from ErieSense for great advice. 

Auto Insurance Tip

No matter how experienced a driver you are or how cautious you try to be, accidents do happen. Before you take to the winter roads, you’ll want to know that your Auto Insurance offers you complete coverage, should you need it. It is too late to do so, once an accident occurs.

Here at the Craig Mader Insurance Agency, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you about any insurance needs. Why not contact us for a no-obligation policy review or to discuss your options.


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