According to a recent study, about 30% of car accidents take place on icy/ snowy roads, and about 5% of those happen during snowfall. So, winter months are clearly the most dangerous to drive in. That said, during icy conditions, there’s no risk factor more dangerous than black ice, and it tends to keep the local tow truck hire services busy. It is one winter factor that leads to countless winter auto accidents every year. In this post, we’d discuss what black ice is, why it is considered such a hazard, and how to handle the situation better.
Introduction To Black Ice
Although called ‘black ice’, it isn’t actually black. It is basically a thin layer of regular ice that forms on asphalt. It is translucent in appearance and blends in with the colour of the dark asphalt below, leaving the surface looking just a bit wet. The fact that black ice is extremely difficult to see is perhaps what makes it all the more perilous.
Black ice can happen on almost any type of roadway; however, it is mostly found on roads that are elevated or are in constant shade.
Why Is Black Ice Dangerous?
Black ice is dangerous mainly because it cannot be spotted, and tires can’t grip it. So, when drivers can’t see it, they cannot prepare themselves for the sudden loss of control. So, the larger the patch of black ice, the less control you’d have, and in extreme cases may even lead to a crash. In fact, most drivers instinctively smash their brakes on confronting black ice, and this is what leads to further loss of control.
How To Tell If You’re Driving Over Black Ice?
Driving over black ice isn’t a pleasant experience, and you’d immediately feel the loss of traction. Your vehicle would begin to slide, and its handling would be severely impaired. Attempts to correct the skidding would make the situation worse.
Tips On Handling Black Ice
Since black ice is practically invisible from the driver’s seat, it can be difficult to avoid it. However, you can follow the tips below to handle the condition better.
- Take your foot off the acceleration paddle. Accelerating on hitting black ice would lead to loss of control of the vehicle. Taking the foot off the acceleration would allow the vehicle to decelerate on its own.
- Resist the temptation to smash the brake hard. Multiple studies have found that even the anti-lock brakes aren’t effective on black ice and may even cause you to enter a tailspin.
What about ATVs, quads, or four-wheelers? These vehicles have good handling and high-quality tires because they are designed for off-road use. However, the Black Ice prevails. On such terrain, oreion reepers will become uncontrollable. It is not significant to take out any vehicle or automobile while it’s snowing. You should only consider going out in an emergency as health comes before anything
How Can You Prevent Running Into Black Ice?
Here’s a guide on how you can prevent a random encounter with black ice or steps you can follow to have the best odds of not losing vehicle control.
Maintain your car well
Having the right tires on your vehicle would give you more control over your vehicle, even in adverse situations like hitting black ice. Regular preventative maintenance of the vehicle would make sure that your vehicle never goes past its limits.
Know how black ice forms
Knowing is half the battle. Thus, always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you’re in freezing regions. This would help you make intelligent decisions, even when confronted with challenging road scenarios such as black ice.
Maintain distance from other vehicles
You may not be prepared to handle black ice, but you can undoubtedly take precautionary measures to handle black ice and prevent collisions. Keeping your distance from other vehicles will heighten your odds of not crashing with them in situations when you do hit black ice.
Keep emergency numbers handy
Emergency situations don’t come calling, and thus, it is best to keep emergency contact numbers handy. This should also include the contact number of local tow truck services for times when you enter a tailspin and damage your vehicle. Simply key in ‘towing service near me’ on Google, and you will have the necessary details needed.
Drive slowly and responsibly
There’s nothing more valuable than your safety and of the people travelling with you. So, plan your journey well and take your time getting where you need to go, especially when the roads are covered with ice.
Generic snow and ice are pretty evident on the road, but black ice is translucent and blends with the asphalt. Thus, it catches people off guard. Driving responsibly and following the tips mentioned above would help you avoid mishaps. However, if you do land in trouble or end up in a crash, you should connect with a tow truck hire service immediately.
To know more about black ice or other road troubles and how you can prevent running into them, feel free to comment below. We would love to help you out and iron out your worries.