im still recovering. ive watched the SB with the same group of guys at the same house for like the last 5-6 years. most of the years, one of us has had a team in the SB. the tradition is if your team wins, you gotta drop everything when the clock hits 0:00 and take a victory lap outside around the house telling everyone your team won the SB. despite having very little to drink all night, when i went to do this i found a random patch of black ice at the top of the staircase on the way out. my trip down the (concrete) stairs didn't go as planned.
however, because i have WIM like eli manning, i was able to pop right up and finish the lap on a full sprint.
meh the guy behind me who is fairly athletic also fell victim to the ice, so i dont think i can pin it on that. if you grow up in the north you know no matter how good of a driver/walker/runner you are, black ice is simply unforgiving. the fact that i was able to break my fall as well as i did and prevent my head from snapping into the concrete (while taking the brunt of the fall on my ass, which is optimal obv) just displays my WIM ability.
it's a layer of ice on the ground that is virtually clear and makes it nearly undetectable from normal pavement unless you look very closely at it. it's extremely slick like an ice rink and can be very bad if you drive over it at high speeds or step directly on it. what makes it more dangerous than other ice is, obv, you really can't see it.
this road, for example, is covered in black ice. imagine if you are driving fine and then have a small section of this. it can end badly.
that's why northern drivers often rage when people from the south drive on the snow. even tho the weather conditions are perfect for ice to form and there has been a lot of moisture or runoff from melting snow, they'll just see black pavement and go flying along at 60 MPH.
i learned this lesson the hard way when i was 16. snow plows had been through, salt was down on the road and everything looked clear. i took a corner at only 25-30 MPH, hit a patch of black ice and 360'd my car into a snow bank.
plus, once you hit it and lose control, everyone's instinct is to slam the brakes. this can be very bad, especially if your car doesn't have ABS (which wasn't really prevalent when i was 16).
yeah you just have to know when conditions for black ice are ripe and be especially cautious. there are also areas where black ice can form more easily than others. that's why you see "bridge may be icy when wet" signs (altho you prob dont see them in cali). bridges are going to freeze over much quicker than other areas.
rock salt helps a ton, but not every road gets rock salt and it's not always entirely effective. in PA they spray a chloride solution pre-storm possibly w/ rock salt, try to salt/plow it mid-storm and then repeat the 2nd step again afterwards. it still doesnt matter sometimes since runoff and wind can blow the rock salt right off the road.
i mean i know people from southern VA who don't know what black ice is and paid the price for it a couple years ago. any state that gets snow/ice should have a lesson on black ice as a mandatory part of the driving test. im always amazed at how many people aren't cognizant of it.
thankfully when i had my first encounter with it (obviously have hit it since then, but im no longer a ******ed 16yo and can drive better), i was able to instinctively react, turn into the skid and safely guide myself to a snow bank on the side of the road away from anywhere cars, people or mailboxes could possibly be. before i got my license, my dad took me out to a school parking lot after it snowed and had me lose and regain control of the car time and time again for a couple hours. it's something you gotta react in a split second to and the correct reaction is counter-intuitive to what your initial reaction is (slam on the brakes and try to steer away from the skid... which are both very bad things to do).
now-a-days with all the traction control and ABS it's not as bad, but honestly i turn off my traction control in very bad weather as i honestly think my manual reactions are a lot better at adjusting for the skid than the system my car has. that system nearly got me stuck out in a storm once because it ******edly kept trying to power one wheel over the other while i was trying to climb a hill in low gear. as soon as i turned it off i took off just fine with no issues.
ABS is actually really awesome, but i sort of miss the bad-assery of speed tapping the brakes and turning into it at the same time. otoh i dont like dying. i had an incident a few years after my first one where i hit my brakes far, far in advance of a 4 way intersection (which was completely blind to any cars coming from my direction... you dont see them til they are AT the sign) with a stop sign, but my car just kept on going despite my best efforts (and having ABS). just a long, slow glide towards the intersection that seemed to take about 9 years to complete. i just slammed on my horn, flashed my brights, desperately tried to stop the car and prayed. thankfully no one else was on the road. was pretty sure i was about to die.
Last edited by Karak; 02-06-2012 at 10:15 PM.
Reason: as you can tell, i grew up in an area and decade that got a ton of snow/ice storms
I was completely serious lol, the most I've ever seen at home is like 5 min of random hail on like 2 separate occasions. (I mean it was like 70 and partially cloudy today) That's pretty nuts though, I can't tell there's ice in that picture.