Black ice: the hidden danger in wintry conditions - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Black ice: the hidden danger in wintry conditions

If the road looks wet but the wheels aren't throwing water, it's probably black ice. (Source: Raycom Media) If the road looks wet but the wheels aren't throwing water, it's probably black ice. (Source: Raycom Media)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

You've got your "pets, pipes and people" covered in advance of winter weather.

You even have your car winterized and ready for snowy, slushy conditions.

However, keep in mind - even if the road doesn't appear to be icy, there could be slick spots.

The safest option, of course, is not to drive, but we know that is not a realistic option for everyone.

Major roads with ice will most likely be closed. It's the hidden ice, commonly called "black ice," that poses the biggest problem.

Low-lying areas, bridges and underpasses are the places you'll most likely encounter black ice.

And don't think that it will melt just because the temperature gets above freezing.

Anywhere shaded from the sun could have slick spots.

So what do you do if you hit a patch of black ice?

Here are some safety tips:

  • Don't hit the brakes.
  • Lift your foot off the accelerator.
  • Keep your steering wheel steady, but do not overcorrect if you start sliding.

Remember, if you do have to get out, buckle up and slow down.

Here's another tip - keep an eye on the vehicles in front of you, as they'll hit slick spots before you do. If the road looks wet but the wheels aren't throwing water, it's probably black ice.

Check our Winter Weather Preparedness section for more helpful, potentially life-saving tips.

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