How To Drive On Black Ice? Ultimate Guides For Beginners

Black ice is a term used to describe ice whose colors and shapes blend with the road or sidewalk, making it difficult for drivers to distinguish.

The color is confusing while the properties of the ice, such as gliding, remain the same. Therefore, black ice is one of the dangers of any driver's winter driving.

In particular, when driving during unfavorable times such as early morning or late night, or simply on a cloudy day, you are likely to face black ice.

The question is, is there anything you don't know about black ice? How to drive on black ice? The secret to driving on black ice?

Do not miss any information below if you are also interested in the above issue. Surely you will be surprised by these tips for safe driving on adverse terrain.

How to drive on black ice? With 10 helpful tips 


Many cars lose traction when encountering black ice

The information below includes simple to complex tips that any driver can apply to minimize the damage caused by snow and black ice.

1. Don't drive

This advice seems simple, but it is extremely useful. If you are driving for the first time or do not have too much experience dealing with this terrain, all the tips and instructions below will not affect you.

If you do not have enough driving experience, you should not go out in extreme cases. In addition, you will also avoid a lot of trouble if you know how to determine the type of weather in which black ice may appear.

The above skill will require a long time to learn and master, but when you have mastered the laws of adverse phenomena, your movement will become much safer and more convenient.

2. Check the car before moving

Before every trip, you need to check every part of the car to make sure the car is working properly.

Check the battery in your car because the energy in the battery can be drained without you realizing it.

In addition, every other part also needs to be in top condition to be able to move on the road safely.

3. Drive slowly

If you still have to go out in bad weather, one of the most helpful tips is to slow down.

Driving slowly will make you safer when traveling on snow in general and black ice in particular. Not only can you have time to evaluate the road and vehicles ahead, but you can also handle unexpected incidents that may occur.

4. Pay attention to the outside temperature


Take care of the outside temperature

You can now find an outside thermometer on every car. So every time you go out in adverse weather conditions, don't forget to take advantage of these thermometers: check the outside temperature to predict the possibility of black ice formation.

In the experience of many drivers, an ambient temperature below 40 degrees F is a sign of frost formation. In this case, drivers need to drive carefully and pay close attention to these phenomena.

5. You should turn off the cruise control

In case you have to move on the ice, to be safe, you need to make sure you can maintain all control of the vehicle.

You should turn off cruise control. The reason is that cruise control can affect the ability to reduce speed - one of the important features to ensure safety when traveling on ice.

6. Be careful when moving at dawn or dusk

Limiting leaving the house in the early morning and late at night is a good idea because black ice may appear at this time when the sun is no longer able to warm. 

At the same time, at this time of day, drivers also do not pay too much attention to the road surface, so it is very easy to have an accident with black ice.

7. Mind the driving surface


Mind the driving surface

Some surfaces are more prone to the appearance of black ice than usual, such as bridges and overpasses.

In addition, the shady spots on the road also have the potential to form black ice. To determine if the road has "black ice" or not when traveling on a road with cold weather, it is snowing to check the road surface. When you feel that there is a thin layer of ice on the road surface and poor grip, you should be very careful because the road will be very slippery.

8. Understand the car you drive

Understanding your vehicle will give you more control over your driving.

For example, if your vehicle has ABS, you may feel a loss of control when braking. Therefore, if you encounter black ice, you will need to keep steady pressure on the brake pedal.

9. Keep a safe distance

According to experience, traveling on a water-covered road, the braking distance of any vehicle is longer than on a dry road. Therefore, drivers should operate at a safe speed according to each person's ability and keep a distance from the vehicle in front.

The safe distance from the vehicle in front is about 2 bodies so that in the event of an accident, the driver has time to handle the situation and keep the vehicle and people safe.

According to advice, when traveling on a slippery road condition due to black ice, it is necessary to keep a safe distance of 10 times the normal to be able to control the speed and handle dangerous situations. Absolutely avoid the situation of following other cars

10. Practice makes perfect


Practice makes perfect

Last but not least, to improve your driving ability, you should practice many times. The ideal place to practice is on open ground. You can also find a variety of other safe areas to practice and improve your control on black ice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are the instructions above enough for you to drive confidently on adverse terrains like black ice? You can refer to some useful information below via frequently asked questions, thus improving handling on these special terrains:

  • How fast should you drive on black ice?

Less than 45 mph is ideal for driving on ice and snow, even on highways.

Besides, do not forget to always slow down when driving on this terrain. Because the high speed will be quite difficult to control, besides when there is a problem, it is also quite difficult for you to stop and minimize the damage.

  • What gear should you drive in on icy roads?

You should use the second number on icy terrain instead of the first. Besides, do not forget to maintain a distance from the vehicles in front.

In particular, when driving in adverse conditions such as heavy rain or even snow, you will need to keep the greatest possible braking distance.

  • What distance should you keep on an icy road?

Because tires grip the road less on ice, resulting in poorer handling, it is that you maintain 10 times the normal distance between vehicles behind and ahead for excellent safety.


Above are helpful information and tips that can help you answer how to drive on black ice well.

The most useful tip that you can apply is to constantly practice to improve your driving skills on snow in particular and in the terrain in the winter in general.

I hope that you soon master the ability to drive and always be safe when traveling, especially in adverse terrains, including dark snow.

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