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BLOG NUMBER 24.77

What is black ice, and what makes it so dangerous? Knowing what black ice on roads is and how to respond to it in case you come across it is crucial to keep you, your passengers, and others safe.

It is most simply described as a thin layer of extremely translucent ice. It is translucent because it is thin and mixes with road pavements, rendering it difficult to observe. Black ice gets its name from the color of the road pavement on which it forms.

The fact that black ice can develop on days when no precipitation has fallen makes it much more difficult to notice. It can originate in one of three ways in general. One of those comes from snowmelt. The water may not completely evaporate off the pavement when daytime temperatures rise above freezing or when plenty of sunshine helps melt snow on or close to roads. That melting precipitation will refreeze if it is left on the pavement in below-freezing temperatures. Travel conditions may get treacherous as a result.

When light rain falls onto the pavement while pavement temperatures are below 32°, black ice can also form. The pavement will form ice from the water. If the rain doesn’t evaporate before temperatures dip below freezing, it might also form after the rain has ceased.

Another component that may contribute to the formation of black ice is fog. Tiny droplets of water make up fog. Water droplets may immediately freeze on contact with cold surfaces when fog forms. Be extremely cautious of slick road conditions if you are driving through a foggy area and the thermometer in your automobile reads near to or below 32 degrees.

Black ice is frequently found on bridges, overpasses, and areas of the road that are shaded by trees or other structures. It is more likely to form on bridges and overpasses because the elevation of these structures allows cold air to flow beneath the road surface, lowering pavement temperature. Given that they receive less heat from the sun during the day, shaded areas of the road are more likely to develop black ice.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to see black ice while driving because it is so translucent. Ice formation causes roads to become extremely slick, creating dangerous driving conditions and a higher chance of auto accidents.
It goes without saying that when there is snow, ice, or even water on the road, you should slow down and drive more carefully. But did you know that stopping distances and times increase significantly on wet or snow- and ice-covered roads? The rise emphasizes how crucial it is to slow down as you approach stop signs, junctions, and traffic lights. If your vehicle is traveling at 50 mph, it can take up to 30 seconds and 1200 feet to come to a complete stop when you hit black ice. It is important to significantly lower your speed when driving on hazardous road conditions. Municipalities and black ice snow removal companies will treat the roads and sidewalks when weather conditions are favorable for icy conditions.

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