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Even if snow is not in the forecast, plummeting temperatures can create hazardous driving conditions during an Alabama winter. No matter how clear the roads seem to be, it is best to always be a vigilant driver.

State Farm provides plenty of information on the dangers of black ice. Learn what this winter driving hazard is and how to handle it during a sudden encounter.

Defining black ice

Black ice blends in with the surfaces around it, making it that much more difficult to see and avoid. The invisible ice often glazes over shaded areas, overpasses and bridges found close to bodies of water.

While driving, be on the lookout for reflective surfaces adjacent to patches of black. Roads that look wet but do not give off sprays of water when cars drive over their surfaces is another potential sign of black ice.

Handling black ice

Should you ever drive over black ice and start to skid out, your best bet is to resist the urge to jerk the steering wheel to regain control. While understandably difficult to do considering the fear-inducing circumstances, try your best to gently press your brakes and turn into the skid, in the same direction as the back of your vehicle.

Preparing for black ice 

Taking preventative measures is another effective way to both avoid and better handle black ice. When temperatures fall to freezing levels, drive slower than you normally would, and put plenty of distance between the cars in front of you. Depending on where you live in Alabama and the past several winters, it may even make sense to invest in winter tires.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.