How to Drive on Black Ice

Learning to Drive on Black Ice Can Be Intimidating

Black ice is a hazardous roadway problem that drivers in our part of the world must contend with. Langley and coastal areas of British Columbia may not receive the amount of snow that most of Canada receives, but we do have substantial issues with black ice. The following tips are designed to help drivers cope with this serious roadway impediment so they can more safely traverse black ice if they happen upon it.

What Is Black Ice?

Many drivers have heard of the term black ice, but in case you’ve forgotten learning about it in your driver’s education classes, it is, in fact, ice–frozen water. Black ice is more deceptive than white or translucent ice because we can’t typically see it. Black ice is a glaze that forms on sidewalks, driveways, and streets. This type of ice usually occurs after light freezing rains or when snow melts and then freezes on hard surfaces like our Langley roadways. Black ice is deceptive because it blends in with the surface of the road. The fact that we don’t see it can prevent us from guarding against its hazards. Because we can’t detect black ice beforehand, we are more susceptible to its dangers. We don’t want you to have to take an unnecessary trip to your local Richmond & Vancouver Autobody professionals!

 

Be Aware of Conditions When Black Ice is Likely to Form

When temperatures are hovering right around the freezing point, you should begin to expect patches of black ice to form, especially if it’s been raining. Weather centers don’t always warn drivers in time of dangerous road conditions. When the temperature reaches that freezing threshold or draws nearer to it, you should begin to exert additional caution when driving. Both Langley and Aldergrove, as many drivers are aware, contain roadways where black ice seems to form regularly.

Many drivers may simply want to avoid the roadways when conditions are right for the formation of black ice. Keep in mind that bridges, tunnels, and tree-lined roads are particularly susceptible to black ice formation. Mornings and late afternoons and early evenings are also times when black ice seems to form most regularly. In some cases, drivers may see the sheen of a black ice patch, but many drivers that experience this roadway hazard never saw it coming.

 

Coping with a Black Ice Encounter

If you do hit a patch of black ice, it’s important to keep calm. The key is to keep your foot off the brake and try to glide over the ice while keeping the vehicle steered straight. If the back end of your car is sliding either left or right, you should gently steer the car in the same direction as the slide in order to right the vehicle. Steering in the opposite direction can lead to a spin or skid, which can lead to a serious collision. Also, don’t accelerate while traversing the ice. It’s best to slow without actually braking or you will increase your risk of a skid.

Driving slowly during conditions when black ice is likely to form is an important part of safe driving. If you do suffer a collision after hitting black ice, you should call Grandcity AutoBody for towing or if you require scrap car removal. If you don’t have to drive during times when black ice is likely to form, that’s safer yet!