Living in Central New York, we're no strangers to below freezing temperatures. When our roads freeze over, we have to know how to handle driving in dangerous situations.

Black ice is one of the biggest dangers of driving in the winter. Black ice is when water freezes over the pavement without forming any air bubbles, so it blends in perfectly with the pavement. This can be especially dangerous at night time since it is colder so it's more likely to freeze over and harder to spot. This does not mean black ice doesn't form in the daytime!

Bridges are especially dangerous for black ice since cold air passes both over and under it, making it even colder than the regular road. Roads that are traveled on frequently are also more susceptible to black ice.

If it is unavoidable that you are about to hit a patch of black ice, DO NOT PANIC OR OVERREACT! Don't hit your brakes or adjust your steering wheel. The best thing for you to do is to do nothing. If you feel yourself starting to spin, gently adjust your steering wheel accordingly. Over-adjusting can cause you to spin out. Slow down by taking your foot off the gas pedal instead of hitting the brakes. If you are able to, shift into a lower gear, it will give you more control. Try to aim your car where you can gain more traction.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid black ice is to not be on the roads at all! Avoid any unnecessary travel when local weather alerts tell you to. The cold is a part of our everyday lives this time of the year, and as long as we stay informed on the dangers of it, we can stay safe on the roads.

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