Currently, North Georgia is under a winter storm advisory. The winding, sometimes steep, country mountain roads can ice over within a short period of time. Called black ice, this driving hazard is said to be the worst for even the most skilled drivers.
According to drive-safely.net, "... black ice is a thin layer of frozen water which contains very few air bubbles. The lack of bubbles in the ice cause it to be completely transparent. ...it takes on the same color as the surface it's attached to. So if you're on black pavement, it will simply look like the asphalt. It doesn't matter if the surface is black, white, orange, green, or any other color. This kind of ice is almost invisible to the naked eye on any surface."
Do not drive when it has been raining and temperatures are likely to drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below. Even if you could see the ice on the road, there is no way for tires to grip the asphalt. The vehicle will slide on ice.
Tips for handling black ice and other winter road hazards:
- If you find yourself driving on black ice, take your foot off the accelerator. Do not put your foot on the brake. Drive at the lowest speed possible until you can safely get to a parking area. Do not pull over to the shoulder.
- During winter months when driving can be hazardous, always fill a thermal lunch box with bottled water. Take along simple foods such as oranges, bananas, apple chips, granola bars and peanut butter crackers.
- Carry a thick blanket, a reflective caution sign, a first-aid kit and a cell phone. Place the first three items in a duffle bag and leave it in the car. Don't store the bag in the trunk. If you are rear-ended or slide into a tree, you may not be able to retrieve the bag.
- Look for leaning trees over the roadway. These trees can become heavy with ice and snow, falling across the roadway or on top of your vehicle.
- Make sure someone knows where you will be going and what time to expect you home.
If you should have an accident on a little-traveled country road, you will need a way to contact emergency help. Help may not get to you right away if driving conditions are too hazardous. You will need a blanket to keep warm, something to eat and drink and a diversion to keep you awake. A battery-operated radio is good to have with you.
A good flashlight should be kept inside the glove box or trunk for driving at night. You may only be driving three miles to the corner store, but an accident can leave you stranded for hours when there are small children with you. It would be nearly impossible to get small children out in the weather and walking to safety.
Never leave home in a rush, thinking you will be right back. Be prepared with emergency supplies and a means of communication. You and your family's safety and survival may depend on how well you prepared for the unthinkable. These are the most natural things to do for your health.