I thought I understood the risk of black ice having driven through many Canadian winters in several different vehicles. Until one day circa 2011 I was approaching an intersection on a not well traveled side road when the traffic light turned yellow. Having what I thought was plenty of time, I applied my brakes in my 1992 Saab 9000 which was equipped with ABS and German made Viking winter tires in good condition. Panic set in when absolutely nothing happened and I was confronted with what I thought was a 100% brake failure. It was only after I slid into the intersection on the long yellow that my brakes began to grab and steering control was mercifully restored. Fortunately, it did not happen on a red light since the intersecting highway is well traveled with car and heavy truck traffic. Obviously, a 1992 9000 is not a 2005 Saab 9-5 but the lesson I learned is that black ice comes in endless permutations and if you are travelling in an area with suspected black ice, it's wise to assume the worst. People have and will continue to die on black ice and ABS/TCS/ESP or other technologies may not help you one iota. They only measure that will lower your risk of death is to reduce your speed since speed kills again and again and again. It is a succulent temptation but a merciless grim reaper.
One of the countermeasures I take now is to purchase winter tires which have a bias towards leading edge ice braking so my passengers, myself and other innocents stand the best chance to survive a short and terrifying fight for our lives with a deadly foe far more dangerous than pure snow.
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