Black ice is a famous formidable foe during the winter, although it is a fun surface on which kids can slide. Black ice is more problematic for commercial property managers looking to keep their parking lots safe; it is also troublesome for winter driving. What is black ice? Learn all about it here.
What Is Black Ice?
Black ice is a thin, transparent layer of ice. It is so transparent that it seamlessly matches the black asphalt on which it usually forms, hence the name “black ice.” Black ice is hard to see but gives itself away with its shiny surface.
How Does Black Ice Form?
This type of highly-transparent ice forms through different means. It could be ice forming from rain, melted snow, or even heavy fog. The pavement must be wet before it can develop. When the asphalt is wet and the temperature drops below the freezing point, this thin layer of ice could appear.
Where Does Black Ice Form?
Black ice is most likely to form on cool pavement, such as pavement in shaded areas or on bridges and overpasses. Cold air passes underneath bridges and overpasses, which cools the asphalt’s temperature. Even so, it can appear on virtually any part of a driveway, parking lot, or road.
Why Does It Matter?
Ultimately, it makes roads more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians, etc. It is much harder to see it until you reach it, which could lead to unexpected slips and accidents. Pedestrians could slip and fall, and motorists and cyclists could end up crashing if they are not careful.
How Do You Drive on Black Ice?
If you end up driving on black ice and end up skidding, point your wheels in the direction of the skid. Lift your foot off the accelerator and do not brake violently. Allow for as much room between you and other vehicles as possible, and watch out for upcoming hazards. The goal is to transfer off the ice as smoothly and with as little resistance as possible.
How Do You Prevent Black Ice from Forming?
The best way to prevent black ice from forming is to add cat litter or sand to form friction and a deicer to melt the ice directly. If it is possible to add heating underneath the pavement in key traffic areas, that is also a great prevention method.
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