Protect Yourself from Black Ice

January 23, 2013

Beware of black ice.

Beware of black ice.

Living in the Memphis area, we don’t worry so much about snow. It’s the ice that we have to worry about. At MRG Apartments, we will do our best to keep the stairs and parking lot free of ice and snow but caution is advised, particularly when it comes to black ice.

Black ice is a little tricky so here is some information that will help you protect yourself against this Winter challenge:

What is black ice? Black ice is very dangerous because it is hard to see. It is not really black (unless on the pavement on the road), but it is transparent and invisible. It forms without creating any bubbles, which allows it to blend with any surface that it forms on. It is a shiny finish that forms on surfaces (especially roads, sidewalks, and driveways) because of a light freezing rain or because of melting and re-freezing of snow, water, or ice on surfaces.

Where will I see black ice? Black ice usually forms right around the freezing point. Black ice tends to form on parts of the road without much sunshine, such as along a tree-lined route or a tunnel. It will also form more frequently on roads that are less traveled. Black ice forms readily on bridges, overpasses and the road beneath overpasses.

When will I see black ice? Black ice forms most commonly at night or in the early morning when the temperatures are at their lowest, or when the sun isn’t around to warm the roads. However, always be prepared for the possibility of encountering black ice.

What do I do if I see black ice? If you see a patch of black ice, you should obviously walk or drive around it. If you do accidentally drive into black ice, your first reaction must be to remain calm. Usually black ice patches are less than 20 feet, so try to do as little as possible and allow the car to pass over the ice. The best thing to do is slow down by de-accelerating, do not hit the brakes (or you will skid), and try to keep the steering wheel straight. If you can, shift into a low gear. Low gears will give you more control.

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