During the winter, one hazard to be mindful of when behind the wheel is black ice. Black ice – which can be almost invisible – forms when the air temperature is warmer than pavement , which causes moisture to rapidly freeze and create a thin, transparent layer of ice on the roadway.
When driving in a misty rain or falling snow the temperature starts to drop and you don’t realize this. You have your wipers and defroster on. It looks like a normal misty rain or snow fall, but it has now formed into a deadly icy road
To help avoid an incident observe the following tips:
- Be aware of misty rains. Periodically check to see if ice is forming on the backside of your outside drivers mirror. If it is icy the roads are icy. Slow down.
- Be especially careful when driving on bridges, overpasses and tunnels , and in the early morning when the air temperature rises faster than the pavement temperature.
- Never brake while driving on ice. Applying pressure to your brakes while on black ice will cause a vehicle to skid. Brake only during your approach.
- Keep your distance. The distance needed to stop on black ice is twice as long as for normal driving circumstances. Keep at least a three-car distance behind the vehicle in front of you.
- Salting and sanding can neutralize black ice. However , drivers should be aware that salt loses its effectiveness at about 15° F or colder.