Black ice replaces snow overnight on Richmond-area roads

Black ice covers pavement in North Chesterfield

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As VDOT crews turned their focus from primary to secondary roads overnight after a 36-hour winter storm, a new hazard took over central Virginia roadways — black ice.

Sub-freezing temperatures caused all moisture remaining on pavement to re-freeze.Trooper Kyle Dehart and other state police responded to numerous car crashes on slippery roads in the evening hours on January 24.

“VDOT’s doing a great job clearing the roads but as they push the snow over, the water that’s melting from the snow is accumulating on the road and starting to freeze,” said Dehart.

Black ice can overtake bridges, overpasses and in the daylight, shaded stretches of road.

“The biggest thing you’re gonna be dealing with tonight is obviously black ice. You’ll look for a dark or glossy pavement,” Dehart said.

Black ice is difficult to see, and unlike with snow, drivers have no traction on black ice. Authorities are warning drivers to be extra cautious in the days following the winter storm.

“Slow down, take your time, and make sure you wear your safety belt,” Dehart said.

If you do hit a patch of black ice, Dehart says there is a way to stay in control of your car.

“Take your foot off the accelerator. We urge you do not press the brake,” he said. “Once you’ve found your way through that (patch), please don’t overcorrect. And most of all stay calm.”

If you are headed back to work on Monday officials urge you to delay your commute if possible and be sure to check road conditions before you leave home.

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