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What is Black Ice and Why is it Dangerous?

As the fall season slowly comes to a close and Pennsylvanians prepare for the icy-cold temperatures of winter, it’s important to remember to be aware of one of the Keystone State’s most dangerous cold-weather hazards: black ice. If you’ve made it through a freezing cold winter, you’re probably already aware of the existence of black ice. But what exactly is black ice, how does it form, and why is it so dangerous?

Black ice is a thin layer of transparent ice that forms over segments of pavement. The term “black ice” comes from the highly translucent nature of the ice, which allows it to blend in almost exactly with the pavement below. This makes black ice more difficult to spot, which leaves countless drivers in need of collision repair in Bensalem, PA every year.

Black ice forms when layers of snow that accumulate on the road melt and refreeze. After a fresh layer of snow forms overnight, it may melt and expand when the sun rises. However, when the sun sets again and temperatures dip below freezing, the melted snow will freeze again — this time in a thinner layer that’s more difficult to spot.

There are a number of ways that you can protect yourself against black ice as a driver. First, remember to always obey local speed limits, especially shortly after it snows or if you’re driving in the dark. You should also always use your headlights when driving at night—the reflection from your lights can make it easier to spot reflections on the road. Finally, drive especially slowly when you approach a bridge or overpass, or drive under an area that’s typically shaded by trees (like an intersection), as these spots are places where black ice is most likely to accumulate.

If you are involved in a collision this winter, don’t panic. Comprehensive collision repair in Fairless Hills, PA from the team at Peruzzi Collision Center will have your ride back up to code in no time. Give us a call today at 215-375-7929 to learn more or get started.