Of all the driving hazards associated with winter, there is one condition that even professional truck drivers’ fear- black ice. Black ice shows up on pavement when it is least expected. Dry pavement becomes a shiny, slippery surface in a matter of a few feet, making other vehicles, ditches, guard rails and even buildings an unavoidable target. Many who walk away from such an accident will say, “It happened just like that.”
Has this ever happened to you? I can personally attest to an increased heart rate due to black ice as I was traveling down the road. I have also witnessed several accidents that involved personal injury to other drivers due to black ice. Strange as it may be, for some reason going off the road due to deep snow does not instill the degree of fear that black ice and icy roadways does. Maybe it is because snow is obvious, but that thin layer of frozen water is not as obvious, and can affect you in a split second.
The way to keep yourself and others safe during this most hazardous of conditions goes right back to driving basics:
- Maintain an appropriate speed
- Keep a proper distance between you and the car in front of you
- Simple braking and steering techniques
These are just some of the things you can do to keep your airbag where it belongs – inside the dashboard!
In addition, there is one more valuable resource when it comes to driving on icy roadways — the news. Most of the population has to commute for work or school and the local news, whether it is television or radio, may give you some information you did not know the night before. While we all feel the weatherman is never right, he or she may be just the person to pass on some valuable roadway information.