Black ice, sometimes called clear ice, refers to a thin coating of glazed ice on a surface. While not truly black, it is virtually transparent, allowing black asphalt/macadam roadways or the surface below to be seen through it—hence the term “black ice”. The typically low levels of noticeable ice pellets, snow, or sleet surrounding black ice means that areas of the ice are often practically invisible to drivers or persons stepping on it. There is, thus, a risk of skidding and subsequent accident due to the loss of traction. A similar problem is encountered with diesel fuel spills on roads.
On roads and pavements The American Meteorological Society Glossary of Meteorology includes the definition of black ice as “a thin sheet of ice, relatively dark in appearance, [that] may form when light rain or drizzle falls on a road surface that is at a temperature below 0 °C.” Because it represents only a thin accumulation, black ice is highly transparent and thus difficult to see as compared with snow, frozen slush, or thicker ice layers. In addition, it often is interleaved with wet pavement, which is nearly identical in appearance. This makes driving, cycling or walking on affected surfaces extremely dangerous.
If you are heading to winter countries, do get a pair of KoroBand Snow Anti-Skid Shoe Grips made in Japan. Have a safe vacation.