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Mild winter prompts dangerous black ice on roadways

Jan 28, 2022 06:04AM ● By Editor
Photo: KBJR-TV

By Bo Fogal from KBJR-TV - January 27, 2022

With the sunshine and mild temperatures, there is still a dangerous threat over the roadways.

Superior Public Information Officer Bradley Jago says around this time of year, there is usually an increase in vehicle crashes and one big contributing factor is black ice.

Superior Public Information Officer Bradley Jago.  Photo: KBJR-TV


First off, black ice is not actually a black color. Black ice develops when snow melts down to liquid form from sunshine and/or mild temperatures and refreezes due to freezing temperatures. When the water refreezes, it creates a thin layer of ice on the asphalt.

What makes black ice more dangerous than regular ice is how transparent the ice is. The ice layer is so thin that you can see the asphalt clearly making it hard to see especially when driving. Black ice can also develop from rain and fog development.

Officer Jago says there are numerous locations where black ice is most prominent during the winter season.

“It’s important to remember that areas like elevated roadways, bridge decks, viaducts, those sorts of roadways tend to cool faster than ground based roadways,” he said.

Since elevated roadways cool faster, ice forms quicker. Despite the inevitable danger, Jago explained how there are a few tips you can use when driving on icy roads.

“Slow down, but do not break suddenly. That will cause you to spin out,” said Jago.

To watch the original version of this report and read related stories, follow this link to the KBJR-TV website.

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