Minn. The Minnesota Departments of Transportation and Public
Safety today issued a safety alert warning drivers of black ice.
Black ice forms when the air temperature is warmer than pavement,
which causes moisture to rapidly freeze and create a thin, transparent
layer of ice on the roadway. Mn/DOT's Traffic Management Center
reported an increase in the number of crashes in the Twin Cities
during last week's cold snap. The Minnesota Department of Public
Safety reported that icy conditions, including black ice, were
contributing factors in more than 12,000 crashes in Minnesota
in 2001, which resulted in 47 deaths.
ice can be one of the most dangerous conditions on winter roads,"
said Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau who also serves as Mn/DOT
Commissioner. "It is almost invisible and can catch drivers
off guard," she added. Black ice is clear and appears black
because the dark asphalt surface underneath shows through. It
can form on heavily congested highways from auto emissions, but
other roads are susceptible including those in shaded areas, near
lakes and rivers, in tunnels and on overpasses.
increase safety by observing the following tips:
aware that black ice is almost invisible.
especially careful on bridges, overpasses and tunnels and in
early morning when the air temperature is rising faster than
the pavement temperature.
brake while driving on ice. Applying pressure to your brakes
while on ice will cause a vehicle to skid. Brake only during
your distance. The distance needed to stop on ice is twice as
long as under normal driving circumstances. Keep at least a
three-car distance from the vehicle directly in front of you.
is neutralized with salting and sanding. However, drivers should
be aware that salt loses its effectiveness at about 15 degrees
and colder. In temperatures below 15 degrees, Mn/DOT uses either
sand or de-icing liquids that are effective at lower temperatures.
Travelers in Minnesota can get up-to-date information on road
conditions, construction and weather reports from Mn/DOT's 511
traveler information service. By phone, dial 511 (not available
on Verizon) or on the Internet at www.511mn.org.
Dial up or
log on before you go.
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Cell phone: 651/402-1395
Cell phone: 612-760-3274