Black Ice

A condition known as ‘black ice’ is a common hazard on our winter roads. Black ice is a thin layer of ice that forms on road surfaces, bridges or overpasses. Black ice is clear, and the term ‘black ice’ comes from the colour of the pavement.

Black ice occurs when the sun or warm temperatures melts snow or ice that is on the road or beside the road. When the temperature drops later in the day or at night, the moisture on the road freezes and becomes black ice.

Sometimes black ice will look like a patch of wet road similar to what you see on the roadways in the hot summer months. These summer patches look wet, but it is an illusion. A driver may notice the same type of effect in the cold months and that is black ice.

It is important to always look well ahead while driving to be able to give yourself enough time to react to the road conditions ahead. A driver may see other vehicles reacting to black ice up ahead by applying brakes or swerving. The best way to manage black ice is to hold the steering wheel straight and firm. Do not apply the brakes or gas and allow the vehicle to use its own momentum. Steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.

Always be prepared for any type of road condition and drive to the road conditions. For expressway traffic and road conditions, please call 511 or visit