As winter quickly approaches, cold weather comes with it. Rain, snow, sleet, and ice can make for unpleasant, and sometimes unexpected, driving conditions. Black ice is one effect of winter weather that makes for particularly hazardous roads. Read on to learn more about black ice and how to drive on it.
What Is Black Ice?
Black ice is nearly invisible, which is why it is one of the most dangerous road conditions you might encounter. When water freezes on the road, the pavement appears wet, but not necessarily icy. If your vehicle hits black ice, the car could start to skid and slide since there is no traction between the tires and the ice. Black ice is most likely to occur in early mornings, evenings, and nighttime.
Tips for Driving in Black Ice Conditions
If you can avoid driving in bad weather, you should. But if you find yourself out on the roads during possible icy conditions, you should follow these safe driving tips:
- Drive slowly. This is one of the best ways to avoid skidding. By driving at a lower speed, you give yourself more time to react if you do hit icy patches.
- Keep the steering wheel steady. By stabilizing the steering wheel, you’re less likely to slide in the wrong direction. The idea here is to keep the car moving in the same direction across the black ice patch.
- Don’t hit your breaks or your accelerator. Hitting the breaks can cause the car to skid and/or fishtail. On the other hand, giving the car gas to increase your speed will decrease the time you have to react to an obstacle. The best action is to completely let off the accelerator, which will help slow you down.
- Maintain a safe driving distance. If you are on the road with other drivers, keeping a safe distance from other cars can help prevent accidents if you or another driver skids on black ice. Additionally, having enough space between other cars helps you see if there might be trouble spots.
- Plan for the unexpected. In the event that you have an accident or become stranded, a roadside assistance plan can help you get back on the road faster. With Roadside Assistance from Direct Auto & Life Insurance, you could receive benefits like 24-hour towing, fluid delivery, and mechanical help.
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