We have a winter here, which is mostly dry, possibly accompanied by slush or frost. The true white can only be found on the mountains, but not only on them there is a danger of slipping. Hidden dangers can be lurking, especially on roads that appear to be leisurely. Don’t you believe? Here are five of the most common.

Why are bridges frozen?

It can be a beautiful five degrees outside, and the sun can even peek out, but the bridges, quite often marked with blue bollards, can be icy. There are two main reasons. On the one hand, it can be said that the bridge is not as “thick” as a road with a solid base, therefore it freezes faster and from both sides (from above and below). The second factor is the wind (more intense on bridges), due to which there is a faster exchange of cold air and the removal of heat through the flow.

Photo: Bridgestone

Even four-wheelers are not omnipotent, and they can get into an unwanted skid just as easily as front/rear wheels.

Hidden danger: entering the forest

The phenomenon of a sudden change in adhesion is reflected in winter especially when crossing roads that lead through the forest. That is, outside the forest the sun may shine, it may be above zero, the roads dry and without snow, however, as soon as you enter the forest, where the access of the sun’s rays is shaded by the trees, you may come across an iceberg or snow. And how many times these forest entrances are in a corner, which can lead to a beautiful skid of the front or rear axle, additionally supplemented by a short “dazzle” during the transition from light (open space) to darkness (dense forest).

Photo: Bridgestone

You have to be extra careful when entering the forest, especially if the forest begins with a bend.

Black ice

This very unsightly and hard-to-recognize feature is created by a thin layer of water forming on the road, which freezes. And because it is thin, transparent and the asphalt underneath is black, the road looks like an ordinary wet road. But it’s not, and it slides like hell.

Photo: Bridgestone

Black ice, snow, bad tires, driver mistakes. All of this can lead to a skid and crash.

So once you know it’s around zero and below and the road ahead looks like it’s wet, keep in mind that liquid wetness may have already turned solid. Another indicator is the cars in front of you, which when water is pouring from the tires, it is probably wet. If not, it’s probably ice already. The worst and hard to recognize combination is wet ice (ice and a layer of water on it), when adhesion is absolutely minimal.

Differential adhesion

When there is a continuous layer of snow or ice on the road, it is a risk, but you know what you are getting into. A slightly bigger lottery then is the different adhesion caused, for example, by ruts, in which the snow is slushy, while outside it is fresh.

You see all this, and even count on the fact that if you go off the tracks (dodge), you will reach fresh snow. However, the problem arises when half of your car is in the track and the other half is on the snow, either because of the width of the car, the width of the tires or due to swerving.

Photo: Jakub Misík

Hard braking for different adhesion can be safely tested, for example, on one of the republic’s polygons.

Then comes the hidden danger in case of braking, especially the sudden one. When braking for different adhesion, the car has a tendency to run to the side where the grip is better (crossing under the brake in the opposite direction, into a ditch), or go straight into rotation. And few drivers expect that.

Unreadable marks

If it is snowing outside, it will certainly be appreciated by children building snowmen, but not by attentive motorists who faithfully follow road signs. In the case of intense snowfall, road markings can take on a white camouflage, and drivers may register that they have driven past a sign of a certain shape, but they no longer have a clue about its meaning due to the snow cover. Even though the triangle, the main road and the stop sign have such specific shapes…

Photo: Bridgestone

Road signs in winter? Sometimes they just can’t be seen…

Finally, we remind you of the article about windshield washer fluids, which may have a declared freezing point of -20 °C, but it is enough to drive for example 130 km/h at -5 °C outside and after splashing the glass due to the evaporation of alcohol, instead of a clear view, you can have a frozen screen . So watch out for these hidden traps and happy driving everyone!