Black ice is the sudden freezing of the surface of roads and walkways. Because of its unexpected nature and the fact that it is can be nearly invisible, it is a particular challenge to drivers. Unless you are a highly-experienced road warrior, you might want to learn more about black ice.
When light rain or snow falls onto a frozen concrete or asphalt surface, instant freezing occurs, producing a thin layer of clear ice that is nearly invisible to drivers. The black road surface shows through the ice – thus the name “black ice”.
Because of its smoothness, it is more slippery than regular ice that has a more irregular surface which allows for more traction. Because of its tendency to be invisible, a driver may not even be aware of it until they are already driving on it. So there is no time to avoid it.
Patches of roads that are heavily shaded by trees and buildings as well as tunnels and underpasses will be more likely to have black ice since they do not warm as quickly. In addition, bridges may often have black ice since they are higher elevations more exposed to winds.
When conditions are right for black ice, the best advice is to use extreme caution and slow down and discontinue your cruise control. If you sense that your car is on the slippery surface of black ice, be sure to steer carefully not making any sudden, sharp motions with the steering wheel.
Once you are 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.
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, be sure that your Auto Insurance offers you complete coverage. It is too late to do so, once an accident occurs.
Here at the Howley Insurance Agency, we are always glad to speak with you about any insurance needs. Why not contact us for a no-obligation policy review or to discuss your options.