Posted on 07-03-2022

During the cold season, it is common for ice sheets to form, which allow accidents or mishaps to occur, so it is important to identify what black ice is. In the following lines, you will learn what this term is about, where it is formed most frequently and some short recommendations on how to behave in its presence or when it is believed to exist.

As common as this phenomenon may be, it is the cause of some accidents in countries where low temperatures allow its formation.


Black icein French glace noire, is about words used to refer to the thin layers of glassy ice that form on the surface. These really are not that color but transparent only that the asphalt of the road is glimpsed through them and hence their name and can cause some roads to be cut off to traffic by snow or ice.

Around black ice, there are fragments of ice, snow, or sleet that make icy areas very often invisible to drivers. This forms when the ambient temperature is several degrees above the freezing point of water 0 °C (273 K), together with air that warms up quickly after a long cold.  

Black ice is commonly used in the United States to describe any type of ice that forms on roads, even standing water on the road that turns to ice when the temperature drops below freezing and you may have than driving in fog on the road.


Undoubtedly, this meteorological phenomenon called black ice is very dangerous, since, as is known, it consists of the water that freezes when in contact with the asphalt, creating these fine layers on the road, which are not simply observed by the conductors, since these assume the color of the same, and for this reason, you must be very careful when driving in cold areas. 

This phenomenon is not dangerous not only because of the landslides that may occur but also because it turns out to be completely invisible, so when the temperature is 0 degrees or less. So when you wake up and freezing points are known, precautionary measures must be taken in the face of the danger that goes unnoticed by the eye.


Black ice is formed in those places of relative humidity, which favor the presence of vegetation, and whose air temperatures are less than 3 degrees; An example of this is mountain areas, at dawn or dusk due to the contrast between the temperature of the asphalt and the air. There are small plates that do not allow you to locate it but allow the tires to slide.

One of the clues to locate black ice is to notice the brightest areas on the road, so you have to be very attentive and take great care; both are very key factors to avoid it or get out without complications.


black ice

Black ice is transparent, therefore it is not possible to see it, and walking on the sidewalks where it can also be present is dangerous, for this reason, the ice can be removed with sodium chloride in an effective way. Adense magnesium chloride or calcium chloride can be used where temperatures are very low, due to their lower melting point of solutions.

Another of the favorite places to form black ice are bridges and these make them highly dangerous and all because the air circulates above and below the surface in them; causing the pavement temperature to drop very quickly. In addition, it can also form in lakes, rivers, and others, when the temperature reaches below zero, if it is very deep, its color will be black.

Black ice is also formed in the mountains and therefore it is a great danger for lovers of climbing and scramblers, let us remember that in those places the climate is cold, and therefore its presence is rapid on rocky surfaces. This allows traction to be lost and more so if the rocks are in a falling position, so it must be prevented and secured with a rope.


Let's first remember that if we get used to going to places where temperatures are low, it is necessary to mount winter tires or wheels adapted to the conditions. In order to allow the grip and safety of the vehicle, you must also have stability control assistants and make sure that they are in good condition and active.

Also, when it is known that the adherence is low or almost null, it is necessary to try to have a mechanical grip on the wheels, which allows greater traction to be generated in the tires. Also in the presence of black ice, reduce speed and stay at or below 2,500 rpm in long gears, it is essential that the speed is moderate and keep distances.

It is a way of maintaining safety, being as cautious as possible, towards other vehicles, and anticipating some maneuvers that allow the route to be traveled more safely on the roads. Following the recommendations, a better disposition can be achieved when encountering black ice, it is to behave the same as when driving in snow.

You have to make smooth movements with the steering wheel, keep the wheels as straight as possible and if you have a mishap, find ways to regain direction and control of the vehicle. The brake must be used, which is key, progressively and smoothly, so forceful use should be avoided, as it would produce a greater slip.


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