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black ice - a threat to winter driving, auto accidents and auto insurance claimsWatch for Black Ice – Avoid an Auto Insurance Claim

Black ice occurs when the wet surface of walkways and roads suddenly freezes in rapidly dropping temperatures. Because it happens quickly and is nearly invisible, it is usually unexpected. So it is particularly challenging to drivers. Whether you are a novice driver or a highly-experienced road warrior, you’ll need to know what it is, where it is likely to form, and how to drive on it without becoming an accident statistic.

How Does Black Ice Form?

When light precipitation reaches the frozen asphalt or concrete surface of the road, instant freezing occurs and results in a thin layer of clear ice that is nearly invisible to drivers. Black ice gets its name from the fact that the black road surface shows through this particularly thin layer of ice.

Why is Black Ice so Dangerous?

Black ice tends to be very smooth and thus even more slippery than regular ice with a more irregular surface which will actually allow for some traction. Because it is invisible, a driver may be upon it before they are even aware so they cannot avoid or take precautions.

What Roadways Are Most Prone to Black Ice?

Black ice will be more likely to occur on those patches of roads that do not warm as quickly – those in the shade of trees, buildings, tunnels and overpasses. Of course, bridges are quite prone to black ice since they are exposed to the cold air both on the top surface and underneath and are more exposed to wind.

How Can I Safely Drive on Black Ice?

Be aware when conditions are right for black ice – light precipitation with freezing temperatures. At times like these, slow down, turn off cruise control; and if you sense that you are on black ice, steer carefully avoiding sudden motions until you can move off of the ice patch

How Can I Recover From a Skid on Black Ice?

Once you are into a skid, the technique you’ll use to recover depends upon what type of vehicle you are driving – whether it has front- or rear- wheel drive, all-wheel drive with or without antilock brakes. See “How do I recover from a black ice skid in a front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive car?” from Erie Insurance for more advice. 

Auto Insurance Tip

Whether or not you are an experienced a driver and no matter how carefully you drive, accidents can still happen. So before you venture out onto winter roads, be sure that your Auto Insurance offers you complete coverage. It is too late to do so, once an accident occurs.

Here at our Laurel, MD agency, our highly experienced Community Insurance Services of Maryland agents are always glad to speak with you about any insurance needs. Why not contact us for a no-obligation policy review or to discuss your options.


Thursday, 01 December 2016 11:03

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