FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- With another snowstorm in the forecast, AAA of Southern New England is cautioning drivers in Fairfield County about dealing with black ice on the roads.
"Black ice can be quite dangerous because it’s transparent and hard to detect; it occurs when rain or snow melts and re-freezes," AAA representatives said. "It usually forms at just about the freezing point, usually at night or early morning. And it usually occurs on roads without much sun – tunnels, routes lined with trees – or on bridges, overpasses, and underpasses."
AAA Southern New England is offering the following driving tips when the potential for black ice exists:
- Don’t Tailgate. If cars in front of you swerve for no apparent reason, it could be black ice. Keep an adequate driving distance between you and the car in front of you. Stagger yourself on roadways and stay out of packs.
- Clean your Windshield. If you can’t see, you’ll not be able to spot potential problem areas on the roadway.
- Look For Areas to Maintain Traction. Granted, black ice is “invisible.” But if you see swerving cars in front of you, slow down! If you can, head for the part of the roadway that could offer more traction, such as dry pavement, snow-covered areas or spots covered with sand.
- Slow down. Sometimes, there’s not much you can do when you hit a large patch of black ice, but generally you can better maneuver your car if you’ve reduced your speed in icy weather. It’s recommended that you drive at least 30 percent slower than posted speed limits when conditions are less than optimal.
- If You Skid . . . stay calm, keep your foot off the brake and look and steer in the direction you want to go. Most times, black ice occurs in small patches and eventually your tires will find traction. Above all, don’t use cruise control on snowy or icy roadways.