Use caution on black ice

February 7, 2014

erin_doan_agency2BGood Neighbor Tips. A blog by Erin Doan State Farm Insurance Agency.

We are pleased to welcome a new contributor and advertiser, Erin Doan State Farm Insurance Agency of Scottville. Erin and his team will be providing you with weekly Good Neighbor Tips. Mason County Press is able to continue to be a free service to our readers thanks to the support of all our great advertisers. 

erin_doan_slick_pictureAccording to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 116,000 injuries and 1,300 fatalities occur in auto accidents on snowy or icy roads each year. A common culprit in many of these accidents is “black ice,” a transparent glaze that forms without bubbles, allowing it to easily blend into the surface of the road.


Decrease your chances of injury this winter by learning more about this slippery hazard.


Recognize Icy Conditions


Black ice is most likely to form when there is a sudden temperature drop such as in the early morning and evening hours. Common problem areas are bridges, overpasses and shaded areas of the road. These areas have much colder surfaces that rapidly freeze when air moisture makes contact—especially if they’re near lakes or rivers.


Detect Warning Signs


When favorable conditions are present, be on high alert. Black ice looks a lot like wet blacktop. Look for these warning signs:


  • Absence of water spray on a seemingly wet road
  • Cars suddenly swerving or skidding
  • Brake lights ahead
  • Cars or tire tracks in the ditch
  • Shiny surfaces next to a dull black


Stay Calm on Black Ice


If you’re caught on black ice, use these tips to maneuver past the problem area:


  • Do nothing: Avoid making sudden moves or turning the wheel. Smoothly lift your foot off the accelerator and glide across the ice in a straight line until you find traction.
  • Shift: If possible, slowly shift to a lower gear for added control.
  • Brake wisely: If you begin to skid, firmly press on your brakes to activate the anti-lock brake system (ABS). Or, if you don’t have ABS, pump the brakes gently.
  • Avoid spinout: If your front end is sliding, steer in the opposite direction of the skid; if the back end is sliding, steer in the same direction.
  • Look toward where you want to go: Avoid looking where you think you might crash—you might inadvertently veer the car in that direction.


Avoid the Potential for Accidents
To stay safer on the road this winter—in a variety of conditions—exercise these preventive measures:


  • Check road conditions before you travel.
  • Slow down and don’t tailgate.
  • Never use cruise control when road conditions are uncertain or changing.
  • Use snow tires.
  • Don’t rely on all-wheel drive for ice—it won’t help you gain traction.


State Farm® offers these additional tips for surviving winter driving

– See more at:

This blog has been brought to you by Erin Doan State Farm Insurance Agency of Scottville. 231-757-3115.

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