Black Ice: What Is It and What to Do if You Hit It

car tire on ice

If you’re in New York—or any area in which there’s inclement weather during the winter—you’ve most likely heard the term “black ice.” It may not seem like anything to worry about, but there are plenty of dangers associated with this natural hazard.

Black ice is a thin coat of ice that is very difficult to even see because it essentially blends in with the pavement on the road. It is caused by temperatures dropping below freezing when the ground is already wet, which causes the areas to refreeze.

For drivers, understanding the dangers and steps to take should you hit black ice on the road can keep you safe. Here are some of the things you should do to protect yourself.

Hold the Steering Wheel Straight

When individuals panic, they may have the instinct to turn the wheel—or swerve out of the way of the ice. Turning while hitting black ice, however, could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and slide, resulting in a serious crash.

Avoid Hitting Your Brakes

While brakes are imperative and keep drivers safe in a number of different situations, it can be dangerous when it involves black ice. Braking too hard can result in your vehicle sliding.

To Slow Down, Take Your Foot Off the Gas

Instead of hitting the brakes, remove your foot from the accelerator to slow down. This can help you stop your vehicle in a safe manner if you have room.

It’s important for drivers to ensure they are safe at all times, especially when the winter weather hits and snow and ice are present on the ground. Taking the necessary steps should you hit black ice could be the difference between a serious collision and walking away from the situation without worry.

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