Driving in wintertime brings with it many unique challenges. Snow, sleet and ice are all visible hazards that force drivers to adjust their behaviors.
It is important to note that not all hazards are immediately visible. Black ice is also a significant factor in colder conditions. Black ice is a thin, transparent glaze of ice on the road surface. It takes its name not because it is black, but because it is fully transparent, so the road surface shows through.
Although black ice can be difficult to spot, drivers can take some protective measures to ensure their safety. Outlined below are some tips for driving when black ice is present.
When encountering black ice, there is a danger of swerving off the road or into oncoming traffic. This can be countered by holding the steering wheel firmly and keeping it as straight as possible. If you feel a loss of traction while in motion, your natural reaction may be to correct swerving by steering drastically in one direction. However, it is essential to refrain from this as it could result in you losing control of the vehicle completely.
Use gears to slow down
Another pitfall that road users commonly fall into is to brake heavily when confronted by black ice. Nonetheless, this can rapidly send your vehicle into a skid. By shifting to a lower gear, you will be able to slow down as required without losing traction under your tires.
It is very easy to panic when driving in difficult conditions, but you must stay as calm as possible. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident in Virginia, legal options may be available to you to help you recover your losses.