Some areas in the Northeast and Midwest are seeing record low temperatures and historic levels of snow. One major road hazard is black ice, which dramatically reduces traction and is virtually invisible.
Black ice forms when the ground temperature causes precipitation to freeze upon impact. The highest-risk areas include driveways, roadways, bridges, overpasses and ramps.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) offers these tips for driving in ice this season:
- Before getting on the roads when it is cold and wet, drivers should check the area's weather conditions in order to be informed.
- Stay calm and let the vehicle pass over the black ice.
- Lift your foot off the accelerator.
- Do not hit the brakes, yet keep your steering wheel steady.
- Do not overcorrect your steering if you feel your car sliding.
- Be cautious. Slow down and increase your following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.