Black ice driving tips for RVers

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By Rene Agredano, LiveWorkDream
Winter is a challenging time for RVers to be on the road. Even if you don’t experience a snowstorm, sudden freezing temperatures can create one of the most hazardous driving conditions for RVers: black ice.

This unsafe road condition can happen during any time of day but is most prevalent when the air temperatures approach freezing. As moisture accumulates on a highway if the road surface freezes before the moisture does, you’re in for a slippery ride.

How to recognize black ice

You can recognize black ice by watching for patches of road that appear dry but are darker than the rest of the pavement. You’ll also see it in low-lying areas, in shaded areas, and on bridges, which usually freeze before the rest of the road. If you’re driving at night you know you’re on black ice if your headlights don’t reflect off the ground.

Should you encounter black ice, try not to steer or brake. Keep your rig pointed in a straight line while making gentle, non-aggressive steering corrections. If you must brake, don’t apply too much braking power or you will slide. For RVs with anti-lock braking systems (ABS), gently touch the brakes and keep your foot on the pedal to keep the ABS activated and stay on course. If you’re towing, your trailer brakes should be turned down low enough so that the wheels are still rotating as you come to a stop. Finally, don’t exit the highway since an off-ramp can create accelerating speed while descending the ramp.

The best way to avoid black ice is to only drive during good weather in daylight hours. But if you must drive during hazardous conditions, remember these black ice tips to stay safe and arrive at your destination in one piece.

Visit Rene’s website here.

Related:
Lane-savvy driving – The safe way to travel

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Wayne C
11 days ago

Go out when you know it’s slippery and practice where there is nothing to hit. If you try to remember what you read in an article about slick driving it will be too late.

Neal Davis
12 days ago

Very helpful advice; thank you!

Neil 57
12 days ago

Other signs of black ice are no tire spray or tracks from car ahead although the road looks wet. IMHO better to coast to a stop well off road or exit ramp then to brake at all unless required to avoid an accident. Using trailer brakes only will keep you from jackknifing.If you move over to the shoulder it is often not as slippery or if it is gravel you will find traction to brake safely.

Tommy Molnar
12 days ago
Reply to  Neil 57

Also, if the road has a “rumble strip” (“zipper” in trucker lingo), try to put your right wheels on that for some better traction. Brakes are your worst enemy in black ice conditions. If you’re in a situation where you think you’re going to hit something or someone, try to steer around the issue, even if it means taking to the ditch. Once you step on the brakes you’ve given up all control of your vehicle.

Last edited 12 days ago by Tommy Molnar
Irv
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Thanks!