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Stuck in black ice? Here’s what to do

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ.)

Slippery and slushy roads conditions aren't the only issue Missourians will have to deal with tonight. As temperatures begin to drop below 20 degrees, Missouri Public Works is warning people to be attentive and drive slow.

"Don't assume that the roads are clear, there some drying occurring but temperatures are falling and there's going to be some slick spots out there so people are really going to want to pay attention and keep it slow," said John Ogan with Columbia Public Works.

According to MoDOT, conditions are improving on Interstate 70, but there are still some very slick areas. On I-44 east of Saint Robert, road conditions are also very slick so drivers should really keep this information in mind if they're driving on the following routes.

If you are out on the road tonight, here are some steps you can follow to spot black ice.

How you can spot black ice:

  • Understand black ice isn't like regular ice, it's typically a glaze that forms on roads, sidewalks and driveways
  • Black ice forms due to the heat of tires and freezing temperatures and it is most common on the highway
  • Black ice typically forms in the mornings and evenings
  • Black ice will form in very smooth and glossy sheets
  • If the majority of the road is a dull black color but a patch ahead of you appears shiny, it could be black ice

What to do if you hit black ice:

  • Remain calm and do not hit brakes
  • Keep the steering wheel straight
  • If you feel the back of your car skidding left or right make a gentle turn of the steering in the same direction
  • Shifting into a lower gear will give you more control

Columbia Public Works told ABC 17, its crews will be out tonight to prepare safe roads for the morning.

"Slick roads are definitely a concern. Our crews are going to be out there and they're going to continue to treat those priority roads and definitely take the car out there when driving and definitely keep your speed down because slickness is definitely going to be a concern especially on untreated roads and even on treated roads as temperatures drop," Ogan said.

The best thing you can do tonight is staying home, but if you do need to leave your home make sure to drive slow to prevent crashing or skidding off the road.

Watch ABC 17 News at 10 p.m.

Kennedy Miller

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