Black Ice: Watch For This Winter Road Hazard


Thousands of accidents occur every year in winter conditions, winter adds multiple hazardous driving conditions such as snowfall, extreme cold and icy roads. Many drivers each year fall victim to one culprit responsible for so many accidents, black ice. Black ice is a sheet of ice that is transparent without any bubbles showing. Its transparency can easily blend in with any surface and make it extremely difficult to notice. 


Black ice tends to form when there are sudden temperature drops in the early morning hours and late-night hours. Common areas where black ice forms are overpasses, bridges and areas of the road that are shaded. Areas such as these have colder surfaces that are more prone to freeze over, especially if those areas are next to rivers and lakes. It is difficult to avoid black ice because spotting it on the road while going 40 miles per hour is almost impossible to do. However, there are ways that you can prepare for winter driving to alleviate the possibility of having an accident from black ice. 


Preparing for winter driving: 

  1. Slower speeds: The best way to protect yourself from black ice is to simply slow down on the roads. You're more likely to spin out of control if you were to go over black ice at a higher speed than going at a slower pace. 
  2. Winter tires: Another way to prepare for the road is to install winter tires on your vehicle. Winter tires provide better handling and grip compared to all-season tires. This is essential since black icy has a very slippery surface. 

Warning signs: 

  1. Vehicle brake lights ahead.
  2. Tire tracks or cars leading into a ditch. 
  3. Sudden skidding or swerving from other vehicles. 
  4. Shiny areas on the road next to dull areas. 

Ways to react: 

  1.  Shift to a lower gear to gain more control. 
  2. Avoid making sudden movements with the wheel and lift your foot off the gas pedal to glide across the surface area. 
  3. Steer your wheel in the opposite direction, if the front end is sliding. If your rear wheels are sliding, steer your wheel in the same direction. 


Black ice is a winter hazard that thousands of drivers deal with every year. These tips can help you prepare and know what to do should you ever find yourself in such a scenario. For more information and resources, visit


Our personal injury law firm is the largest in the Midwest, with offices located in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. Our attorneys have secured a number of settlements in excess of a million dollars. 


Contact us anytime -- 24/7/365 -- by phone or online chat to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. 





Jason F. Abraham
Connect with me
Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.