JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - From frozen freeways to icy interstates, even the most skilled drivers can get caught up in a mess on slick roads, and one of the most threatening hazards is also hard to spot: black ice.
Black ice is invisible to the naked eye and possesses a potentially dangerous and deadly risk. Before you find yourself caught up in the scary surprise of black ice, Nassau County sheriff's deputies say thinking "tactical" can save your life.
"Once you've hit black ice, you can lose control of your car in a matter of seconds," said Charity Rose, with the Nassau County Sheriff's Office.
Black ice is a thin layer of frozen water that has few air bubbles and is transparent. Because of that, it takes on the same color as the surface it's attached to.
"The biggest mistake people make behind the wheel is driving too close and then trying to put their brakes on at the last minute," said Rose.
Deputies said if drivers encounter black ice that causes their car to skid, they should slowly take their foot off the gas. They should then slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction they want their front wheels to go.
"If you can avoid driving tomorrow and you're not used to driving in this weather, stay home. Be safe," said Rose.
Other things deputies don't want drivers to let slide:
- Use low beams when driving through slushy conditions for better visibility.
- Improve stopping distance by allowing 8-10 seconds between the driver's car, and the car in front.
- When driving uphill on ice, pick a path that will allow for the most traction.
- On turns, slow down just before you hit the curve.
- Maintain tires
Deputies also encourage drivers to make sure they have an emergency kit in their car in case they end up stranded like some have in Atlanta.
Sheriff's deputies also said one of the biggest trouble spots for black ice are bridges, and it's especially important to reduce speed when driving over them.
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