During the wintertime, it is especially important that your teen driver employs safe-driving practices that keep both them and other drivers safe on the road safe. Even the most seasoned drivers can experience challenges when it is cold outside and there is snow on the ground. The solution? Arming your teen with the most comprehensive understanding of what it means to be a safe driver during the wintertime is the best defense. “Black ice” is deceptively dangerous, making it crucial for your teen to understand what it is and how it can be safely approached.
What is “Black Ice?”
In its simplest definition black ice is ice that is black in color. What makes this dangerous? Like other ice, black ice is slippery and can be dangerous if it is not approached with caution. It is extremely perilous because it is black in color, which gives the illusion of blending in with the rest of the street. Knowing how black ice forms can help your teen drive more carefully, though. In general, ice forms when it is less than 32 degrees and there is rain, snow, or sleet on the ground. Sometimes it forms instantly, as the rain falls. Other times, it develops as snow melts and then refreezes. Any time your teen driver is subject to these conditions, encourage them to err on the side of caution, allowing ample time to brake and switch lanes. Additionally, black ice is more likely to be found in certain areas. As a guideline, areas that have less traffic and exposure to sunlight, such as highway exits and beneath overpasses, have the potential for more black ice.
How Can Your Teen Drive More Safely on Black Ice?
1. Be Aware
During winter, one of the best driving tactics your teen can practice is increased awareness of weather conditions. So, when the temperature straddles the freezing point, they need to take caution. Has it snowed, sleeted, or rained recently? If so, they will want to drive more slowly, especially under overpasses and on exits.
2. Stay Calm
In the event that your teen does run into some black ice, they need to remember one thing: Do not brake. Most often, black ice only accumulates in small patches, meaning their car is likely to pass safely. However, braking in these slippery zones is the easiest way for your teen to lose control of their vehicle. Instead, guide the car with the steering wheel. The key? Avoid overcorrection or increasing speed — both can be dangerous on black ice.
3. Stay Calm
Black ice so dangerous because it is not easily spotted, making it hard to prepare for an encounter with it on the roadway. Because of this, having the right mentality is everything. We said it once before, and we will say it again. Staying calm is your teen’s best defense.
Learn How We Can Help
For your teen’s car to drive well on the road, the vehicle needs to be properly maintained. Fortunately, Waterloo Automotive, Illinois, can help. It is the little things like well-inflated tires, wheel alignments, and good brakes that help your teen’s car drive well on the road. So, throughout the winter, be sure to allow our team of highly skilled technicians to keep your car in optimal driving condition.