Hopefully, you are now going slow and this will make it easier. Black ice is often although not always patchy, so hopefully your tires will soon find traction. Use the minimum amount of braking possible, although some braking will be necessary if skidding a lot, as follows: If you have anti-lock braking system ABS , just put your foot on the brake, apply firm pressure and the car will pump the brakes for you as you skid.
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
If you don't have ABS, pump the brakes gently as you skid. Always steer the car in the direction you want the car to go. If you end up going off the road, try to steer into things that will cause the minimum amount of damage. Ideally, steer into an empty field, a yard, or a fluffy snowbank.
Of course, you may not have much choice in the matter, but you can at least try. After the black ice encounter, stay calm. You're likely to be a bit rattled, but panicking isn't going to help at any stage. If you must keep driving, do so very, very slowly.
Alert other drivers that you're going slowly by flashing your lights at all times. Get off the road as soon as possible. This will also provide you with a chance to recover your senses and feel less panicked. Have a hot drink and relax a while.
If there is a pile up: You will have to evaluate quickly whether staying in your car where you have some safety protection or getting out where you can flee further collisions but will have to walk on icy surfaces, in freezing temperatures, with other cars spinning out of control around you is safer. Consider your location, the speed of travel, geographic location, your warmth, and your physical abilities.
Prevent or minimize future encounters with black ice. There are several things that you can do to reduce the chances of being surprised by black ice.
While knowing how to drive on it remains a number one priority, here are some other things to do: Don't try to speed during icy weather as this will take away any control you might have had on the black ice. Keep your windshield clear of ice, snow, dirt, and anything else that can prevent you from seeing out of it properly. To get snow and ice off the windshield of your car, you might be tempted to turn on your windshield wipers. It might seem like the wipers and the washer fluid will work, but they don't. In fact, if you use your windshield wipers to get ice off the windshield, you could ruin them.
Use an ice scraper to scrape the ice from the windshield of your car before starting the vehicle. Turn your headlights on early in the afternoon to help you see any possible sheen from black ice. Check your tire tread. Worn tread causes accidents in any conditions, and will ensure you lack traction when needed on black ice. In addition, consider having snow tires fitted. An important thing to remember is to NEVER drive in potentially icy conditions with your cruise control active. Yes they still apply, but skidding in a rear wheel drive can be a lot more hazardous and the spin more dramatic.
There's a lot less control, as when the rear wheels drive over black ice there is nothing to control the car except the momentum of the front wheels. Not Helpful 6 Helpful It's a bit of a toss up.
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While a heavier vehicle may aid breaking up of very thin sheets of surface ice the additional mass will have a detrimental effect to all other driving dynamics under low traction conditions. It will increase your stopping distance as well as your vehicle's willingness to change the initial direction of travel. Not Helpful 2 Helpful You may be able to take off quicker from a stop in winter weather, but it does not alter the driving dynamics when using caution.
Not Helpful 3 Helpful The same advice holds true for all vehicles. Ice is ice and you will still slide. Just take it slowly, leave plenty of room between you and the car ahead of you and don't panic. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Should I depress my clutch as well as take the foot off the accelerator?
Depressing the clutch takes your car out of gear, the wheels are now spinning freely, and you have no control over your steering. If driving a manual, it is best to switch to the lowest possible gear, usually second, because you will have more control. Not Helpful 8 Helpful What would happen if, at the beginning of my skid, I applied the emergency brake?
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It would be dangerous and you would most likely spin out uncontrollably. The rear wheels would lock up and the rear would slide whatever way it wants. Not Helpful 3 Helpful 6. Should I correct a slide with front wheel drive like I would with a rear wheel drive?
Always turn into the skid and avoid hitting the brakes. If you have to brake in winter weather, I'd recommend tapping your brakes to slow down until you can safely stop. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 2. You float the gears -- hold the shifter in the gear you want as your RPM drops. This usually works best when the RPM is low. Not Helpful 8 Helpful 5. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. No, and using the traction control button may actually make the skid worse, since it is giving the car more skid-power.
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What Is Black Ice And Why Is It So Dangerous?
By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Tips Stay off of the phone, and don't mess with the radio. Pay attention to the road or you might wreck! A good tip for any ice driving is to avoid sudden movements. Quickly turning your tires, accelerating or braking can cause you to lose traction. One way to adapt your driving style to winter travel is to imagine an egg between your foot and the gas and brake pedals.
Make it a priority to keep the imaginary egg intact. You'll find yourself driving more cautiously in no time. Have snow tires fitted before the temperatures drop low enough to cause black ice. This is especially important if you're traveling outside your urban areas and you're not familiar with the roads and weather conditions.
If the weather is bad and the conditions are likely to result in black ice, try to stay home and avoid driving at all. If you have ABS brakes, know how they feel when they engage so you don't panic and that you understand what denotes slippery conditions—even if your car is still in control. Walking and cycling on black ice is also dangerous and can cause you to slip.
See a Problem?
Cyclists need to take extra care as slipping can lead you into the pathway of car and truck traffic. One way to slow the amount of slide, gently put your gear shift into neutral. Only do this when starting to slide. Practicing on regular road conditions can help you remember this tip when its truly needed. Warnings Remember that zero percent traction is still zero percent traction. Even if you have all-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive, or an SUV, once you lose traction the car itself won't help you. Drive safely and cautiously no matter what your vehicle is. Never use cruise control in snowy or icy conditions.
Always be prepared for the possibility of encountering black ice. Know how to see black ice — sometimes. While black ice is transparent, it can sometimes be seen in the right lighting conditions — if you are looking for it. Black ice almost always forms in very smooth, very glossy sheets. This glossy surface is your indication of potential black ice.
Follow the instructions below. Prevent or minimize future encounters with black ice. Here are a few additional tips to remember during times of increased potential for black ice. While knowing how to drive on it remains a number one priority, here are some other things to do: Get the latest alerts, news and information. We'll send updates every Thursday afternoon and alerts as events dictate.