The harsh Vermont winter has set in, so it’s time to take extra precaution when you get behind the wheel. One of the biggest driving hazards during the winter season is black ice, a thin transparent layer of ice that coats surfaces. While having an all-wheel drive vehicle helps during winter commutes, it won’t save you from sliding on ice. Make sure you pay attention to your commute this winter and know what to do if you find your vehicle sliding on ice.


Black ice, also known as clear ice, forms on contact when the air temperature is above freezing, but the ground temperature is below freezing. Black ice can also form when snow or ice warms up during the day and melts, but temperatures drop overnight causing it to refreeze. It’s important to be aware of roadways that you travel that are more susceptible to forming black ice. Bridges and overpasses will form ice before roadways as cold air flows underneath the surface as well on top of it. Roadways that have heavy tree coverage will also maintain black ice longer than other roadways as the sun is unable to warm the surface during the day.


If you’re driving during daylight, you may be able to spot black ice by looking for any road surface that appears glossy. If you’re unable to spot black ice ahead of time and find your vehicle sliding, don’t panic. It’s important to remain calm as your vehicle passes over the ice patch. Keep your foot off of the brake and accelerator. Only turn the steering wheel if your rear-end begins to fishtail one way or the other. If your rear-end does swing out, it’s important to turn your steering wheel in the same direction your rear-end is going. Do not steer against it, and do not over-steer or you may spin out. Once your vehicle has passed over the ice patch and you’ve regained control of your vehicle, you may slowly press the accelerator.


For more safe driving tips be sure to follow Quality Mitsubishi’s blog and sign up for our email notifications! Need snow tires installed for the season? Make an appointment with Quality Mitsubishi’s Tire Center today!

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