Heavy Haulers Daily Blog

Icy road covered in black ice

What is Black Ice and Why Is It Dangerous for Transport?

Black ice is a wintertime threat to driving safety on roadways. Black ice is a type of ice that forms on wet roadways when temperatures drop rapidly. It is typically undetectable to the naked eye. This phenomenon happens when water that falls from the sky freezes nearly instantly upon contact with asphalt, making the road appear glossy sometimes. Black ice is simply ice sheets that have the same color as asphalt and cannot be seen by vehicles. Since black ice is often a possibility when the temperature dips below freezing, truck drivers must exercise caution and limit their speed to avoid the likelihood of losing control of their truck or transport trailer.

Is Black Ice Dangerous?

Black ice is hazardous for equipment transport drivers because they cannot see it, their tires cannot grip it, and their brakes cannot function correctly on it. When drivers cannot see it, they cannot prepare for driving over it, which might result in a loss of control.

When tires lose traction, drivers might lose control of their vehicles quickly. And the greater the ice patch, the less control they will have. Black ice may force vehicles to spin 180 or even 360 degrees, which is a significant crash risk factor.

When their brakes cannot grip it, drivers are unable to stop or slow down. When they hit black ice and feel the unmistakable slipping and sliding, many drivers automatically slam on their brakes. However, this is often a mistake. On black ice, strong braking can lead cars to skid, resulting in even less control.

What You Should Know About Black Ice

It is almost hard to detect. Black ice is transparent and typically develops in low-light situations, such as in the evening or early morning. Due to the absence of sunlight, black ice that has formed in a shady area tends to persist. A light snowfall or blowing snow might conceal the existence of black ice.

Warm temps deceive individuals into assuming that there is no ice. Most people believe that when air temperatures are above freezing, especially in late winter and early spring, it is too warm for ice to develop. However, what matters is the temperature of the pavement. Frozen ground may make sidewalks, parking lots, and roads significantly colder than the surrounding air, causing ice to develop.

Not all types of ice are equal. All types of ice may be difficult to traverse, but black ice is particularly tricky. As temperatures increase near to or over the freezing point, friction on ice reduces. This can cause a layer of moisture to form on the surface of black ice. It is practically hard to walk safely across the ice under these conditions.

There may be no discernible origin of the ice. It seems intuitive that melting snow on a sunny day might form ice after the sun sets and temperatures drop. What if, however, there is no snow or evidence of melting? There are further reasons for black ice: Rooftop snow can melt due to heat loss through a building’s roof, dripping into the sidewalks and parking lot below. Also commonly disregarded as potential causes of parking lot ice are condensation from car exhaust and melting snow from automobiles.

What Truck Drivers Can Do to Be Safer

– On bridges, overpasses, and tunnels, as well as in the early morning when the air temperature is increasing quicker than the pavement temperature, you should reduce your speed.

– Avoid pressing the brakes on ice, since doing so might cause the car to slide.
– Do not use the cruise control in wintry conditions.

– Use a safe speed when driving in winter conditions, irrespective of the stated speed limit.

– Maintain a safe stopping distance from the car ahead.

– Avoid using a mobile phone while driving, and remember that texting is illegal most states.

– Maintain both hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, and your focus on driving.

– The combination of dew and fog can create black ice. Ice development does not require melting ice and snow or freezing rain. Fog and dew can freeze on the ground, making it dangerous to walk on.

The majority of road accidents occur during winter. If you want to prevent accidents or even stay on the road, you must know how to drive in icy conditions, especially if you reside in a region with harsher-than-average winters. In addition to learning how to drive on roads with black ice, it is vital to prepare your vehicle and have the right equipment in order to respond more effectively to adversity.

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