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Black ice is a serious winter danger

The winter season can bring forth a variety of challenges for drivers. In some cases, such as when it's snowing heavily, it's easy to see that trouble lies ahead. In other situations, however, you'll find it difficult to pinpoint the conditions.

Black ice is one of the biggest dangers associated with winter weather driving. In short, this is when there is ice on the road but you're unable to see it. As a result, you continue to drive as you would in dry conditions, thus putting you at risk for an accident.

Black ice forms when the air temperature is steady at 32 degrees or lower and rain is falling. Making the situation even more challenging is the fact that the precipitation can freeze immediately upon hitting the road.

As dangerous as this can be, there are several tips you can follow to remain safe in these conditions:

-- Don't hit the brakes. If you need to stop, do so gradually (if possible) as to avoid slipping.

-- Remove your foot from the accelerator. Although you don't want to slam on the brakes, you do want to lift your foot from the gas pedal. Picking up speed with ice on the road is dangerous.

-- Don't panic. If your car begins to slide, don't panic to the point of overcorrecting.

Black ice is a serious winter danger that often sneaks up on drivers. If you're concerned about this, keep an eye on the outdoor temperature as well as any precipitation falling from the sky. Along with this, be aware of the fact that other drivers may not take as much caution as you, which could lead to an accident.

Source: AccuWeather, "Black ice: How to spot this winter driving danger," accessed Dec. 12, 2016

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