Driving on Black Ice: Tips for Staying Safe During the Winter

Driving on black ice | Union Park Honda | Wilmington, DE

Driving on black ice | Union Park Honda | Wilmington, DE

Mother Nature at Her Best – Or Worst…

Winter weather leads to snow, sleet, and, worst of all, black ice. This ominous-sounding driving condition earns its name from its invisibility, as it usually forms in hard-to-see sheets on the road. Though it is most common on bridges and overpasses, it can occur anywhere on the road. Read on to learn more about driving on black ice.

First, it’s important to understand that black ice is nearly identical to regular ice. Granted, it is hard to see because it forms without air bubbles. However, your vehicle handles the same as it would on the ordinary ice. According to wikiHow, this means you’ll lose traction and tend to slide in a straight line.

Driving with Caution

You should also know where to expect it. Black ice appears on bridges and overpasses because the air moving underneath cools the surface. It can also appear in shaded areas because of the lower temperatures, and it is more common at nighttime or early in the morning. Black ice can form from melted snow, freezing rain, or simply mist or dew.

Safety First

If you do hit a patch of black ice, the most important thing to do is remain calm. Panicking and overcorrecting can make things worse. First, take your foot off the accelerator. Do NOT slam on the brakes, as this could make things worse. If possible, steer into the slide to slow your vehicle. If you have anti-lock brakes, ease them on to reduce the slide as well. Finally, head for areas with traction. Don’t swerve across the road in traffic; however, if you notice a non-icy area, try to get your car there.

These are just some of the tips to keep in mind. The safest way to avoid accidents in the winter is to drive attentively at slow speeds and to only drive when necessary. If you must drive, be sure to watch out for black ice.

Have questions about winter time maintenance for your Honda? Give us a call at Union Park Honda and we can answer them and schedule you in for maintenance if needed!

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