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What is Black Ice? What Do You Do When You Encounter Black Ice?

Winter Driving
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

We hear of black ice, but you don’t SEE it.  That’s because it’s defined as “invisible”.  It forms when air temperature is warmer than the temperature of the pavement. This creates a thin layer of transparent ice on the roadway.   Because of this, drivers are completely unaware of it’s presence.  Here’s tips on what to do, when you encounter black ice, from the MN Department of Transportation.

In the Northland, we see this more prevalent in the morning hours because the air temperature rises faster than the pavement temperature.  That’s when Ken and I start getting the phone calls from motorists to slow down because it’s slippery.  That wasn’t the case when he and I drove to work hours earlier, so it’s hard to comprehend.  However, with this knowledge, it’s much easier to understand.

Safety Tips:

  • Slow down on bridges, overpasses and tunnels.
  • Avoid applying brakes on black ice. That will cause your vehicle to skid.
  • Do not use cruise control during winter driving conditions.
  • Use a safe speed for winter driving conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit.
  • Keep a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Do not use a cell phone while driving and remember that texting is prohibited while driving in Minnesota.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel, your eyes on the road and your attention on your driving.

Keep it safe and have B105 on for your commute.  We will get the latest road condition information in your ears, as we receive it!  Thanks for listening!

Info via:  MN DOT

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