Even though the Smyrna area has beautiful autumns and mild winters, the weather can turn nasty. As you prepare for your end-of-year holidays, you must realize that black ice is just around the corner. If you are not careful, you may have a serious car accident or a painful fall in an icy area.

Despite its name, black ice is transparent. It may appear to be dark-colored, though, as this type of ice is so thin that it accentuates the color of the pavement or another surface below. Forming when drizzle or rain accumulates on frozen surfaces, black ice is dangerous for both motorists and pedestrians.

Identifying black ice 

To know whether you may encounter black ice, you must consider weather conditions. If the ambient temperature is below freezing, black ice may form. Therefore, keep an eye on your vehicle’s external thermometer, provided it has one. If your car indicates that outside air is colder than 32 degrees, climate conditions may be right for black ice to form.

Watching for black ice 

Car thermometers may not give you the most reliable information about black ice. That is, because vehicle thermometers sit near the engine, they may give readings that are a few degrees warmer than the actual air temperature. Your eyes come in handy, though. If you see dark patches on a cold and drizzly day, there is a good chance that you are looking at black ice. Furthermore, this type of ice tends to form in shady areas and on bridges before appearing in other areas.

Driving on black ice 

If you have to drive when weather conditions are optimal for black ice, you must be careful not to have an automobile accident. Increasing your following distance to five seconds is likely a good idea. Also, if you encounter an icy stretch of roadway, you should not hit your brakes or crank the steering wheel.

Even though autumn lasts seemingly forever in Smyrna, winter will eventually arrive. When it does, you must be smart about black ice to minimize your chances of sustaining a serious injury.