Auto Repair in Mint Hill – How to Handle Black Ice

Finally, the temperatures have begun to drop! Cooler weather is upon us, the holidays are soon to roll around, and the conditions in which you’ll be driving in will change too – in the colder months, black ice can be a real problem in the Carolinas.

 

Mint Hill winters generally have days that are above the freezing point and nights that are below it. Due to that, we tend to get rain instead of snow during the colder months. Whatever water is left on the ground after the storm stops turns into ice that night. You’ve probably noticed it too – your yard may look like it has a white beard the day after a december rainstorm because the wet grass froze overnight.

 

This can happen on roads too, but there is one big difference – most of the time, you can’t see it.

 

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) black ice forms when water on a road freezes over, but no air freezes inside the ice. No air bubbles make the ice impossible to see. It usually forms in shady areas, bridges, and anywhere water can easily puddle.

 

Most tips and tricks mentioned here today come from the USDA and Pekin Insurance – big thanks to them for this great info!

 

Staying Safe:

 

Do not slam on the brakes!

 

Even with modern anti-lock brakes (ABS) braking on ice is an easy way to lock up the wheels. If you need to slow down, do so before you hit the ice patch – and if you must brake while on the ice, pumping the brakes is your best option, even if your vehicle has an ABS system.

 

If you skid, turn into it.

 

One of the biggest mistakes people make if they actually start to skid is to jerk the wheel around over-correcting themselves while having their foot planted firmly on the brake pedal – the better method of attack is to turn into the skid and pump the brakes. This can be very hard to do if you’re panicking, however, so it is important to remember to stay calm in these situations – it can be hard, but you can do it!

 

Look at How Others are Driving

 

Do you see people in front of you losing traction for a few seconds? Are drivers in front of you slowing down a lot? Are you in an area that black ice can easily form? If you answered yes to some of these, then you may have found a black ice patch… or rather others found it for you.

 

Pack an Emergency Kit

 

We’ve talked about emergency kits many times before here (if you missed those articles, head over to autorepairminthill.com to catch up on some of our prior articles run in this paper!) and they’re crucial in a skid situation. While we hope you never crash in a skid, it’s always a possibility. Having chained tires, snow tires, or anything like that won’t give you more traction on ice… just snow. If you already have a good set of all-season tires on your vehicle, don’t waste money on new tires you don’t need – spend it on making a good emergency kit instead, because if you do crash, you’ll need one!

 

As always, practice safe judgement every time you plan to go on the road – if you don’t feel you can do it, don’t. Your life is more important than getting somewhere on time. If you’d like to know more, feel free to call Manchester Auto & Tire of Mint Hill, LLC at 704-545-4597, email us at kenmanchester1@gmail.com, or message us on Facebook at facebook.com/ManchesterAutoandTireofMintHill

Ken Manchester