Winter Hazard: Where Black Ice Forms


(Modern – Where is the Most Common and Dangerous Place to Encounter Black Ice?

  • Expressways
  • Highways
  • Bridges
  • Parking lots

Answer: Bridges. Here’s Why…

If you live in an area impacted by bad weather during the winter months, you know that driving can be a hair-raising experience when the roads are bad. Snow is rough for sure, but the bigger threat is black ice.

Despite being named ‘black ice,’ this roadway hazard is actually clear — which is why it is so dangerous. It’s difficult to see, and hitting a patch of it can cause a vehicle to slide out of control. So how can you prepare for this natural phenomenon?

Know Where It Hides

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), black ice tends to form in the following locations and conditions:

  • Black ice tends to form in the early morning or at night when the sun isn’t present to warm the roadway.
  • Black ice forms on the areas of a roadway with the least amount of sunshine. Roads lined with trees or tunnels are good examples of areas to be wary of.
  • Bridges and overpasses are especially dangerous, as cold air and the wind cool the road from below as well as above, allowing it to freeze quickly.
  • Roads that do not see heavy traffic are also prone to black ice.

Behind the steering wheel of a vehicle isn’t the only time you should watch out for black ice. It can form just as easily on sidewalks and driveways.

For more winter safety information, check out our article on important winter driving tips.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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