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Navigating Black Ice Safely

Driving in the snow can be dangerous but the snow itself alerts drivers to this danger. We see it snowing and slow down, take turns carefully and even avoid driving if possible. With black ice, however, we don’t always see the ice, which is what makes it more hazardous because we aren’t alerted to the danger until we are already in it.

Black ice forms on the road when temperatures reach 0 degrees Celsius. If there’s any water on the roads, when the temperatures drop, ice forms. Black ice can also form on roads that are heavily shaded from the sun and at night when the snow has melted during the day and then refreezes when the temperatures drop. These are the conditions we deal with all winter so it’s important to know how to navigate the ice should we find ourselves driving on an unexpected ice patch.

If and when you hit black ice your first instinct is going to be to slam on your brakes to stop from sliding, but this is exactly the opposite of how to navigate ice safely. Release the brake and push in the clutch if you have one. Try to keep your steering wheel straight but if you feel the vehicle begin to pull to the left or right, gently turn your wheel in that direction. Any aggressive movement will only make the skid worse. Patches of black ice are usually not very big so you should be able to regain traction in no time.

And if you hit an ice patch and have any damage to your vehicle then call us at our Fred Beans CarStar locations and we’ll deal with everything from towing, working with your insurance company, and expert repairs to get you back on the road.