Black ice is dangerous primarily because it’s transparent and thin and therefore takes on the color of the road surface. It’s almost invisible, and it forms on overpasses and bridges first because they have colder surfaces. The road might merely appear wet when it’s actually coated with black ice, so use extra caution when you’re driving to Mammoth. The friendly folks at ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for everything from ski boots to Mammoth ski rental, offer the following advice about what to do if you hit black ice while driving.
To make sure you don’t skid, drive slowly and steadily. If you move slowly, you’ll have a greater chance of crossing the ice without sliding. Maintain a slow speed so you can control the vehicle well.
Take Your Foot Off the Gas Pedal
When you notice your vehicle is sliding because of black ice, the first thing you should do is take your foot off the gas so you can slow down. You need to do the same if you see motorists in front of you sliding. Press the gas slowly as you drive across the ice.
Keep calm, even though it might not be easy. If you need to, pull over and collect yourself before getting back on the road. Staying calm is essential. If you’re not, you’ll be less likely to be able to maintain control of the vehicle and keep it on the road if you skid. Stay as calm as you can so you can observe how other drivers are reacting to the ice.
Steer the Wheel Straight
Hold the wheel firmly and keep steering it straight to avoid sliding and slamming into oncoming traffic. Don’t drastically turn the wheel if you notice you’re starting to skid. If you do feel your car start to slide, turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid, not against it.
Avoid Hitting the Brakes
If you slam on the brakes, you could lose control and slide even more. Ease your foot slowly off the gas and gently tap the brakes to slow down safely.
Look for Areas with Traction
Try to find places with gravel or sand to drive over because these areas will give your tires traction and help you keep your car under control. Try to stay away from black parts of the road because they may be covered with black ice.
Extend Your Following Distance
These situations require you to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. Extra space can give you enough time to react if the driver in front of you slides or loses control on the ice. You can also avoid hitting other motorists if you keep a reasonable distance.
Driving to Mammoth Mountain in wintry conditions means being aware of the road conditions and taking your time so you get to your destination safely. Whether they’re looking for safety tips, ski repair, or high-quality snowboard rentals, Mammoth visitors can find everything they need at ASO Mammoth. Drop by our store on your way to the mountain or give us a call at 760-965-3444.