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It’s that time of year again, when black ice is a particular danger to motorcycle enthusiasts. Black ice forms from vehicle exhaust, so no precipitation is necessary. It also forms when it’s raining or sleeting and the air temperature at the road surface is at the freezing point (32 degrees) or below. Black ice also forms when snow and ice melt and re-freeze. Because it’s clear in coloration, it’s hard to spot. It’s up to you to be aware of the danger and alert to it.
Look for black ice especially in unlit areas, such as under bridges and overpasses or where trees line the road. It forms most often when temperatures are lowest: at dawn and in the late evening. If you see dark glossy spots on dry pavement, that’s probably black ice.
Avoid ice wherever you can, but if you do hit it, steer steadily through it and don’t hit the brakes. Don’t accelerate and don’t over-correct if you start to slide. And go slow whenever there’s a chance you’ll encounter black ice. Avoiding it is always the best way to proceed.
Stay safe out there!