What Do I Do If I Hit Black Ice?

(Safety first, everyone.)
Written by Ashley Surinak
Written by Ashley Surinak

Insurance doesn’t have to be boring. That’s why we hired Ashley Surinak to be our BA insurance writer. Ashley specializes in making mundane subjects hella-entertaining.


Q: What do I do when I hit black ice?

A: You’re driving in the wintertime and hit black ice. Rather than panic, try these simple strategies to regain control of your vehicle: 

  • Don't make any sudden movements: A lot of people panic, slam on the brakes, or turn the wheel when they hit black ice. The best thing you can do is to keep the car moving as it was before you hit the ice to allow it to pass over.
  • Gently turn into the swerve: If your car begins to swerve to the left or right, turn the wheel gently into the direction you're swerving. If the back of your car is fishtailing to the left, turn the wheel to the left and vice versa. Turning the opposite direction could cause you to skid or spin out. The cardinal rule is to steer in the direction you want the car to go.
  • Take your foot off of the accelerator: Because hitting the brakes could cause you to spin out, the best way to slow down is by taking your foot off of the accelerator. Slowing down the car will give you better control.
  • If you're driving manual, downshift: If you're driving a manual car, downshift if possible.
  • Steer toward traction: Snow, textured ice, or sand will give your car traction and help you regain control. If you can steer toward any of these substances on the roadway, do so.

If you hit black ice, the best thing to do is stay calm, don’t move, and slow down. Doing so is the quickest way to regain control of your car. Another way to get prepared is by ensuring you have proper collision coverage in the chance that you get into an accident because of black ice (or otherwise). Talk to your TrustedChoice.com independent agent to talk about collision coverage and find your best option. 

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