Dangers of black ice

6th December, 2016

Now that we are officially in meteorological winter, it’s time to look at some of the winter weather issues you’ll have to deal with over the next few months – black ice being one of them.

Hard-to-spot on a wintry morning and one of the most dangerous conditions for motorists, just what is black ice?

Well, it's a glaze that forms on surfaces and is referred to as black ice because it tends to look like the rest of the pavement or road, although in reality, it's actually clear.  Black ice forms when the air is zero degrees Celsius or below at the surface and there is rain in the air. The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, thus creating ice. Sleet and the refreezing of snow or water can also generate black ice. 

Black ice forms without creating bubbles, which allows it to blend in with any surface it forms over. It is dangerous precisely because it's hard to detect in advance.

The prime times for the formation of this type of ice are the early morning and late in the evening, when temperatures are typically at their lowest.

The most common locations for black ice are shaded or tree-covered parts of driveways and roadways, due to the lack of sunlight, and bridges and overpasses because of their ability to freeze quickly.

To spot black ice, the best thing to do is to take a look at the pavement. If the pavement is dry but you see spots of the pavement that look dark and glossy, that is probably going to be black ice.

Driving on black ice can be hazardous whether on the road, in a car park or on a driveway, so, with the likelihood of black ice forming now and over the next few weeks, it’s time to plan for your winter gritting and snow clearing. Act now so that everything is in place for when the snow and ice appear. Call us today on 01728 633900 for a quote tailored to your needs. 

Black ice on UK road

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