Winter is a time when all bike riders, truckers, and other drivers need to be careful. There’s a lot of potential hazards that they’ll need to deal with, such as black ice. This hard-to-spot danger can cause you to lose control and even end up in an accident…
How-to Handle Black Ice: Important Info
What it is
Black ice is ice which forms on roads and highways especially during the winter months. The name refers to how the clear ice blends in easily on the black highways, making it hard to spot. Usually, this ice will develop after sudden temperature drops, like in the early mornings or late at night.
Certain areas of the road will also be more at-risk of icing over than others. Shaded areas of the road tend to have more ice pop up because they already have a lower temperature than other spots of the road. Areas near bridges and overpasses also tend to have more ice than others, due to the air moisture from the water.
While it’s hard to spot black ice, there’s a few warning signs you can look for. Many areas which are at a risk of freezing will have signs alerting you about this. That way, you can slow down ahead of time and know you need to be careful. If you look closely, you may also be able to see the ice shine compared to non-frozen sections of the road.
Other drivers can also clue you in about if there is ice ahead. If you notice that a lot of people are slowing down ahead when it seems like there is no hazard, it may be because of ice. Others may be more drastic and swerve out of the way because there is ice.
How to react
Reacting to black ice properly is key for staying safe. In fact, one of the best things you can do is not overreact. When you notice you’re on some ice, you don’t want to slam on the brakes or jerk the wheel. Instead, lift your foot off the gas and ride it out until you’re off the ice.
If you start to feel like you’re losing control, firmly press the brakes to active the ABS system. When you start to slide, react according to the part of your car that’s swerving. If your front is sliding, then steer in the opposite direction; if it’s the rear, then steer into it.