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Current weather conditions could cause black ice

Freezing rain stayed away from the capitol city Thursday and crews from Cole County and Jefferson City Public Works, as well as the Missouri Department of Transportation, were able to continuously put salt down without it getting washed away.

But some parts of mid-Missouri are still facing possible precipitation and have gotten some already, so MoDOT officials said there’s still a chance for black ice to form.

“There’s no way of knowing that it’s out there,” said Kyle Fischer, a maintenance supervisor. “It happens and it’s the same color as the pavement. You don’t know it’s there.”

Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott White said ice and black ice make for some of the worst driving conditions so while he doesn’t recommend driving in this weather, if motorists have to, they should make sure they know what to do if they start sliding.

“You want to make sure that you stay off your brake,” he said “Your brain’s going to want to go right for that safety button which is the brake pedal, so stay away.”

He said drivers should take their foot slowly off the brake and slowly off the accelerator as well. It will be a first instinct to slam on the brakes, but any abrupt movements will cause drivers to make the slide even more dangerous. Drivers should also turn their wheel in the direction the wheels are going.

“Everything has to be slow,” he said.

Even driving should be slow. Fischer said a driver can do everything right or know how to safely maneuver the ice in theory, but if they’re speeding, there’s no way to recover.

“Drive slow, leave early and allow plenty of time to get to your destination,” he said.

White said he strongly urges drivers to remain alert, avoid distractions and wear a seat belt to give themselves a “fighting chance.”

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