According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 116,000 injuries and 1,300 fatalities occur in auto accidents on snowy or icy roads each year. A common culprit in many of these accidents is “black ice,” a transparent glaze that forms without bubbles, allowing it to easily blend into the surface of the road. Decrease your chances of injury this winter by learning more about this slippery hazard. Recognize hazardous conditions. “Black Ice” is most likely to form over bridges, overpasses and shaded areas of the road. These areas have much colder surfaces and are more susceptible to sudden temperature drops such as in the early morning and evening hours. Other common problem areas are places that may rapidly freeze when air moisture makes contact—especially near lakes or rivers.
Recognize warning signs when conditions are present for icy roads, so you can be on high alert.
- Black ice looks a lot like wet blacktop.
- Absence of water spray on a seemingly wet road.
- Cars suddenly swerving or skidding.
- Brake lights ahead.
- Cars or tire tracks in the ditch.
- Shiny surfaces next to a dull black.
- Stay Calm on Black Ice!
- Avoid making sudden moves or turning the wheel.
- Smoothly lift your foot off the accelerator and glide across the ice in a straight line until you find traction.
- Shift: If possible, slowly shift car to a lower gear for added control.
- Brake wisely: If you begin to skid, firmly press on your brakes to activate the anti-lock brake system (ABS). Or, if you don’t have ABS, pump the brakes gently.
- Avoid spinout: If your front end is sliding, steer in the opposite direction of the skid; if the back end is sliding, steer in the same direction.
- Look toward where you want to go: Avoid looking where you think you might crash—you might inadvertently veer the car in that direction.
- Check road conditions before you travel.
- Never use cruise control when road conditions are uncertain or changing.
- Don’t rely on all-wheel drive for ice—it won’t help you gain traction.
- Slow down and don’t tailgate.
- Use snow tires.
Article provide by Eastern Alliance
Eastern Alliance Insurance Group is here to help. To access additional safety resources
visit www.easternalliance.comor contact Melanie Nykamp or Greg Clone in Risk Management for assistance. 1.855.533.3444