PSA: Black Ice

There’s a reason it’s called black ice.

Regular ice is a rather cloudy color, just sitting (lying?) on the road waiting to cause trouble. The cloudiness comes from air bubbles trapped in the frozen ice, like miniature cave men. If you run over the cloudy ice, it may have cracks in it or some other such distinguishing features. Ice is always cracking up over something.

Now, black ice is frozen (go figure), usually rather thin, and without many air bubbles trapped in it, causing it to take on the color of the substances it’s frozen on top of. Since it is on top of pavement, dark in color (except where prohibited by law), it looks black.

Similarly, wet spots on the pavement look black. Water happens to also be transparent, without many air bubbles…unless you’re boiling it. But seriously, let’s try to stay on topic

The trouble comes when you’re driving down the road and you expect you’re just driving over a wet spot on the road. Instead, it’s really black ice, and you’ve lost your traction. If you’re lucky, it’s only a small spot in the road and then you’re beyond it. If you’re not lucky, you completely lose control of your vehicle and you wind up skidding into Canada, completely bypassing customs, which seems to really tick them off.

The solution: If it’s below freezing outside, assume any dark patch on the road is ice…unless you see it moving, then assume it’s a raccoon and feel free to speed up. But you’re digressing. Again.

If safely possible, avoid the probable ice on the road. If not, realize that, when you are driving over it, you won’t have any traction. Therefore, try to avoid using your breaks or trying to turn, if at all possible, when driving over it…unless you enjoy aggravating Canadian customs.

This is my wisdom trying to help you out a bit here. Don’t forget it.

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2 Responses to PSA: Black Ice

  1. But aggravating customs is such FUN! (unless its a certain customs agent dealing with ships. I don’t mess with him.)

  2. Roger says:

    You wouldn’t mess with Mark. Of course, he’s US Border Patrol, not Canadian…

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