It’s that time of year when driving in dangerous conditions becomes unavoidable. Sometimes heading out is a gamble, and sometimes you know the weather’s harsh before getting in the car. Regardless of the situation, here are a few safety practices to follow when driving on black ice to help prepare you for what’s to come.
Go Slow and Steady
The most dangerous aspect of black ice is that it’s invisible. The key to approaching black ice is going slowly and removing your foot from the gas pedal. So how do you know black ice is ahead if it’s invisible? If the road appears wet or has shiny patches, the chances are that it’s black ice, and you should approach with caution.
Brake With Caution
When you remove your foot from the gas pedal, don’t press the brake pedal hard in its place. This is one of the most effective safety practices to follow when driving on black ice. The best-case scenario is removing your foot from the brake as early as possible.
If you see that slick spot up ahead, simply pump the brake, then release it before making contact. Doing this will prevent skidding.
One of the worst things you can do is over-correct when you realize you’ve hit a patch of invisible ice. Our natural response to the car swinging one way is jolting the steering wheel in the other direction. Instead of turning the wheel the opposite way, you should steer into the slip while slightly pumping on the brake.
Remember to remain calm if you find yourself in this situation; don’t over-react and over-correct. Also, remember that if you happen to fall victim to another person’s mishap and injuries occur, it’s essential to contact a car crash attorney to go over all options available.
A good rule of thumb for handling hazardous driving conditions is to always check the forecast and temperatures for that day from morning to night. As soon as temperatures drop below 32 degrees, it’s time to be more mindful of your driving and those around you. Chances are, when the temps are this low, even the slightest wind can freeze a single patch of water and create black ice.
In a perfect world, you would avoid all possibilities of trouble while driving in inclement weather. But the reality is that no matter where you live, anything is possible. Take these tips into consideration the next time you see low temps and snow on the horizon to do your part in staying safe on the road.