Even though winter isn’t officially here in the Northeast yet (it starts on Dec. 21st), that doesn’t mean we haven’t been met with some pretty cold nights. Tomorrow for instance temperatures are supposed to drop down into the low 20’s, which let’s be honest, sucks. Combine that with the light showers we’re supposed to get and you’ve got the makings of some pretty terrible road conditions. One such issue is black ice, a hazardous road condition that gets you when you’re not even looking. Black ice forms when road surface temperatures fall below freezing. The issue then becomes compounded when rain or snow is introduced into the equation. The moisture can freeze instantly, thus forming a virtually transparent sheet of ice on the road that most drivers never see.
Run-ins with black ice happen so quickly, that it’s almost impossible to have a favorable outcome. Imagine driving down the parkway at 60 mph only to find out that when you try to steer, nothing happens. Loss of vehicle control happens immediately, which can unfortunately result in a severe accident. Keep in mind that if you’re lucky, you may be able to detect black ice early. If you’re driving in freezing temperatures and you notice that the road is shiny or has a light sheen to it, then odds are you could be in trouble. My advice, depress the brake pedal VERY slowly to slow the car down and then just pull off whatever roadway you happen to be on, then find a diner and wait for road conditions to improve. Trust me when I tell you that you’ll be much better off sipping coffee somewhere then you would be if you were resting backwards on the center median.