Tire Experts Warn of Black Ice

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Slick roads may have played a role in the Northern California pileup. Black ice can form quickly on wet roads when temperatures drop below freezing.

Black ice is a common culprit for car crashes this time of year but experts say tire pressure and tread can make a big difference when behind the wheel. Black ice gets its name from forming on top of roads and blending in with it’s background, making it hard for drivers to spot. Experts at Ed’s Tire Factory in Medford urge drivers to check their tire pressure and tread depth before hitting the road this winter.

“Being worn down there’s fewer edges to bite and the other thing is the tire as it gets older, it gets harder. It gets harder from day one and when that rubber gets harder it slides on wet pavement or ice,” explained Ed’s Tire Factory owner, Ed Miller.

Experts say studded tires may not be the best option for Oregon drivers who may only occasionally drive on ice. Experts say these tires have a tendency to slip on wet roads because of their metal studs. No matter what tires you have on your cars experts recommend slowing down and taking precaution when driving on icy roads.

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  1. Paul Clark says:

    Every major storm bring the same lame warnings to viewers regarding how to drive in inclement conditions. Black ice seems to be the most “mysterious” phenomenon. To start with, black ice is most prevalent during good weather conditions when the temperature is low, generally during clear winter driving conditions. The lame information seems to be “filler” for the newscast, otherwise you would give useful information for winter driving.

    To start with, the worst driving conditions are when the temperature is around 32 degrees and water forms on top of the ice; the only substance with less friction is oil, not commonly found on most highways unless there is a spill. Unlike oil, ice forms when the temperature of the ice is near 32 degrees, either from traffic or the ambient air temperature and can cover a large geographic area.

    I have heard comments regarding studded snow tires and statements say they are not very good for Oregon drivers because they don’t have traction in the rain. I personally don’t like studded tires, but for the average driver they offer added traction 99% of the time. The media obviously sides with the politicians who would like to ban studded tires because they cost ODOT a lot of money repairing roads caused from the added damage. This makes sense because politicians want the money to bolster their constituency for votes or just more spending. Politicians always want more money because they are politicians, and are basically parasites,especially Oregon politicians, regardless of the party affiliation.

    Enough about politicians, quit beating the “dead horse” and make an effort to give useful information regarding hazardous driving conditions in the winter, i.e. DO NOT USE BRAKES when your vehicle slides on ice; try to control the slide by turning into it. This is probably just as useless since most drivers panic and slam on the brakes whenever they lose control, but it is true. Notice the skid marks when you see where a driver slid into a ditch, they always slide from the oncoming lane into the opposite lane and go in the ditch backwards, because they kept their foot on the brakes and lost all control

    I guess the best advice is stay off the road if you can’t drive, but that would eliminate most of the traffic, so next is to stay away from other vehicles when driving in inclement conditions, which would eliminate vehicle collisions. In other words, you will be the only one who has an accident, not someone you ran into because you can’t drive!


    Paul Clark
    Klamath County, OR

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