Black ice is dangerous. For those encountering black ice for the first time, it can be a frightening experience. Traveling through the Spiti Valley, this group of SUV owners shows exactly how it’s done and how it can tackle the slippery black ice conditions of the mountains.
Most of the time, the black ice expanse is invisible. In this case, however, the entire road was covered with a layer of hard ice, making it much easier to spot. Riding on such black ice surfaces is dangerous and without proper driving skills you can slip and fall.
A group of SUV owners first prepared a stretch to keep the vehicle from slipping. In preparation for the stretch, break a layer of ice to make sure the tires have plenty of traction. Digging up and breaking the smooth surface of frozen ice ensures that there is enough traction to allow the vehicle to pass over it without slipping.
Also, they put loose soil on the frozen ice surface. Dirt also adds a layer of friction between smooth ice and tires, giving your vehicle extra traction. This is a common method.
Also, if the vehicle is heavy and the ice layer is thin, snow chains can crush the ice and increase traction. In that case, there is no need to dig or throw dirt.
SUV crossing black ice
In the video, various vehicles such as a Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra Tar, Jeep Wrangler and Ford Endeavor are shown traversing the stretch after being well prepared. The traction between the road surface and the tires increased several times after digging and spreading the dirt, but the SUV drivers were very careful during the crossing. There were some skids and slips, but overall all the cars passed without problems.
AWD and 4X4 may help in these situations, but traction is most important. With the right tires and driving technique, even a 4X2 vehicle can easily traverse the surface of black ice.
How to drive on black ice?
In cold regions, black ice forms overnight when temperatures drop to near zero degrees Celsius. The water flowing on the road freezes and becomes a very slippery road surface. This patch looks like a wet patch and is not easily identifiable. Most bikers fall into black ice due to hard braking and acceleration. Often, when riders find the road below slippery, they panic, brake, and lose grip.
The best way to deal with black ice is to identify it and slowly run over it. Black ice can be difficult to spot, so it is advisable to drive slowly during the early morning hours and slow down further after spotting a wet patch on the road. Black ice melts when the sun rises, but can stay longer in shaded areas. When driving on black ice it is important to maintain the same speed without changing gears. Proper tire maintenance also ensures optimum grip. For maximum grip on all types of surfaces, always change your tires when the tread depth drops below 1.5mm.