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What Is Black Ice & Why Is It So Dangerous?

maif car insuranceMost likely you have heard of black ice and how dangerous it can be. However, many of us don’t actually know what it is, what causes it, and why it is so dangerous. Black ice will show its face usually between December and February when it is the coldest in our region and can be extremely dangerous for people commuting on foot, bicycles, scooters, vehicles, etc. Roadway Insurance Agency, Inc., a MAIF car insurance provider, is going to explain what black ice is, what causes it, and what to look for to help you to avoid black ice.

What Is Black Ice?

  • Black ice is a very thin layer of ice that will form on top of concrete or asphalt. Since ice is clear, it makes this ultra-thin layer of ice just about transparent with whatever surface it is on. It is so transparent that it earned the name black ice from how invisible it seems to be on asphalt surfaces. Black ice is typically found on bridges and overpasses as the cold air is able to push underneath the road surface to lower the pavement temperature. Another popular location for black ice to form is shaded areas, as these areas tend to get less sunlight during the daytime.

What Causes Black Ice?

  • Black ice is caused when the ground is frozen or snow-covered overnight, and then the temperature rises just above freezing during the day. This temperature increase and sunlight during the day will cause a small amount of snow and ice to melt just enough to make the road look wet. The melting is just fine until the sun falls and the temperature drops below freezing again. This means that this newly melted snow and ice will freeze, and is so little that it is almost completely transparent on whichever surface it forms on.

What To Do If You Hit Black Ice

  • Given that you are unlikely to see black ice in advance and avoid it, chances are you won’t know that you have hit black ice until you actually hit it. So, at this point in time, you will have to just do damage control. Here are some tips to follow in case you hit some black ice while driving:
    • Do NOT hit the brakes as this will just cause your vehicle to slide.
    • Simply take your foot off the accelerator to stop your vehicle, as it is usually best to let your vehicle stop on its own when sliding on ice.
    • Keep your steering wheel straight if you are sliding as you are more than likely to lose control of your vehicle if you turn your steering wheel.

Contact Us For A Quote

The winter months can create some memories that will last you a lifetime, however, you want to make sure that you do everything you can while driving during the winter months to prevent an accident from happening. If would like to learn more about driving in icy conditions, or if you are simply seeking new car insurance, call us today or get a free quote online!