How drivers can prepare for ice

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from: Jana Ballweber

If slippery roads are predicted, it is better to leave the car in the garage. But what if you are surprised by black ice and wintry road conditions on the way?

Kassel – Winter finally entered. It also increases the risk of accidents for drivers, because in addition to the cold, of snow and cold, the season brings treacherous black ice to the streets again this year.

Black ice occurs when liquid water, such as rain or fog, hits a cold road, the website explains. The water immediately freezes into a thin layer of ice that is very difficult for drivers to see, he warns ADAC on its website. This is especially dangerous on the road where there is little sunlight. Because then the ice does not melt so quickly from the road and is more difficult to see.

In winter weather conditions, it is better to leave the car at home. © Jan Eifert/Imago Images

Danger of black ice: Drivers should prepare for ice in winter

Nevertheless, there are some tips that drivers can pay attention to if they want to protect themselves from black ice in winter. Fog and frost on trees are a sign of high humidity, which increases the risk of black ice.

Flash ice danger signs:

  • the fog
  • Frost on the trees
  • rain/sleet
  • fluctuating temperatures

Temperature also indicates how likely black ice is to form. Contrary to what many believe, the danger is not greatest on the coldest days. This becomes especially problematic on days when the temperature fluctuates.

Winter is dangerous for drivers, especially in fog and changeable weather

Because then the snow falls, melts and freezes again: the best fodder for a slippery road. ADAC warns that even the most advanced aids such as anti-lock braking system or electronic stability program in the car are no longer helpful: “If the radio warns of black ice or freezing rain, it is better to leave the car at home and postpone the trip.”

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In the photo, a tire on a black car with icicles formed on it.
Winter tires don’t necessarily help with black ice. © IMAGO / Rolf Poss

According to ADAC, if you are surprised by black ice on the road in winter, you should keep a greater distance to the vehicle in front, brake gently and drive sensitively. If possible, drivers should also take a break until weather conditions improve or a sandblasting vehicle passes.

Slippery roads: Winter tires are mandatory for drivers in winter

Adequate antifreeze should also be added to the windshield wiper system before starting a trip in winter weather. The windows must be completely free of ice, but the engine must not be allowed to heat up – as this, according to the car club, costs up to €80 in fines and endangers the engine and the environment.

Mandatory for several years now in winter road conditions as well as winter tires. That’s what the traffic rules say. Caught with summer tires in snow, frost and ice costs €60 and gets a point in Flensburg. In the event of an accident with summer tires, insurance benefits may even be reduced. (Jana Ballweber)

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