Tips for Driving Safely on Black Ice and in Winter Conditions

It’s the time of year when you need to look out for weather-related road hazards. Winter provides a unique set of challenges for drivers, which is why it’s important to be extra careful when driving in winter weather conditions to avoid accidents.

Here are some tips for when you’re stuck driving in winter conditions such as snow and black ice.

What Is Black Ice?

winter-tire2Black ice occurs when the road surface is colder than 32°F and there’s rain or other precipitation. As the rain lands on the cold surface, it immediately freezes. This ice is difficult to see as it blends in with the pavement, hence the term black ice.

Remain Calm

If you hit a patch of black ice, you need to remain calm. While it’s scary if the car starts to slide or spin, overreacting can actually cause the situation to get worse. Having a cool head can be the difference between pulling out of a slide and having a sudden stop at the hands of a guard rail.

Don’t Hit the Brakes

This is true of most winter weather driving conditions, particularly black ice. Hitting the brakes can induce a slide or make a small slide worse. When you begin to feel your car sliding, keep your foot away from the brake and concentrate on steering.

Slow Down with the Accelerator and Concentrate on Steering

driving-snowYou need to keep the steering wheel steady. Try to stay with the slide instead of fighting against it. Sudden movements in steering when the car is starting to slide can actually induce a spin.

As you focus on steering, take your foot off the accelerator if you haven’t done so already. While there’s really no good way to slow down, you shouldn’t speed up through a slide either. Having your foot off the accelerator will ensure that as soon as you get off the ice, your car will begin a controlled deceleration that slows it down.

Aim for the Fluffy Snow

While your car isn’t going to get any traction in the ice, you may get some help from the snow. Look for billowy white snow; the stuff that’s packed down isn’t as good. Fresh snow can help you control your slide by giving your tires more traction and eventually helping you come to a stop.

Give Traffic Plenty of Room

If there are other cars around you who hit black ice, give them plenty of room. Even the best drivers can quickly lose control. If you aren’t around them when they do, then they can’t hit your car.

Contact Collision 24 for Roadside Assistance in Brockton

If you find yourself in need of a tow due to a winter weather mishap, contact Collision 24


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