When the cold weather begins rolling into town the chance of black ice forming on the road increases. Jones & Swanson wants to encourage everyone to be vigilant and aware of the risks of driving this winter.
Black ice forms when the temperature is low enough to cause a light cover of ice to stick to the road. It is commonly called black ice because it looks like a part of the pavement and is hard to see while driving. But before the road can ice over, you have to deal with the fall road hazards first, so make sure you know the tips for driving in the fall.
It is important to know that each year 24% of car accidents are caused by icy pavement and have injured more than 116,800 and killed 1,300 people (fhwa.dot.gov). Icy roads are something not to take lightly and needs to be handled appropriately. So, taking the proper precautions could be the difference between making it home safe or causing an auto accident.
Staying off the road
Simply by not driving you remove the chance of ever having a car accident from black ice to begin with. We understand that for many people, not driving isn’t an option. So, when and if possible, cut down on your routes, plan ahead, and try to carpool. These tips will help limit your on-road times and ensure you’re limiting yourself of the risk.
During the colder season you should keep an eye on your local weather channel to see if there is a freeze warning. This might help you to know if it’s worth taking a drive on a cold winters day or staying in. It could also help you know if you need to adjust your driving while on the road. If it’s a freeze warning you need to keep in mind that black ice may form, and you need to drive accordingly.
When there’s black ice on the road, you should reduce your speed, lengthen your following distance, and brake sooner. When driving on black ice, you never know where it could be, so you must always be ready.
- Driving slower might take longer but it will help reduce the likelihood of a car accident. Since many people in Georgia are not used to driving when roads are frozen it is more dangerous.
- Leaving more distance between you and another driver will make driving safer. While driving, if you hit black ice, you would have more time to assess the situation and react in a better manner.
- Lastly giving yourself more time to brake will help you on the road. You never want to slam on the brakes while driving on black ice as this may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Taking these extra precautions will ensure better safety of you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.
Make sure your tires are ready for the road before you drive. Tires normally will wear down from regular driving. NHTSA has a great guide on the importance of tire care to keep drivers safe and aware of the maintenance of tires. (nhtsa.gov). Having good tires in bad weather conditions could be the difference for a slip and fall for your car!
When driving Jones & Swanson wants you to make sure that you feel comfortable and ready for anything. Black ice can be very dangerous so if you are not comfortable with it, do not drive. Please remember to drive at your own risk and have a plan just in case anything goes wrong.