With chilly sub-zero conditions being reported across the UK, many may be cautious about the hazardous conditions brought on by 'black ice'.

Black ice can pose a serious threat to motorists on the roads as well as people walking on footpaths and pavements.

With this type of hard-to-see ice becoming commonplace as we enter the winter months, here is everything you need to know.

Where does black ice get its name?

York Press: Black ice gets its name from the usual colour of the road and pavement.Black ice gets its name from the usual colour of the road and pavement. (Image: Getty)

While black ice is actually transparent, it gets its name from the dark colour of the road, driveways and pavements, making it appear black.

This is sometimes referred to as clear ice due to its transparent nature. Because of this, it is often invisible to drivers or people walking, making it especially dangerous.

The Met Office says this "glaze that forms on roads and pathways is often termed 'black ice' due to its transparent nature allowing the road surface below to be seen through it."

How is black ice formed?

The Met Office says that black ice or clear ice is formed when drizzle or rain hits cold surfaces usually in the winter.

It can either be formed by supercooled rain or drizzle which comes into contact with the ground or when non-supercooled liquid comes into contact with a surface well below freezing (0C)

York Press: Black ice is formed when rain or drizzle hits cold surfaces.Black ice is formed when rain or drizzle hits cold surfaces. (Image: Getty)

How to drive on black ice

An expert from Select Car Leasing revealed some top tips for motorists driving on roads with black ice.

He said drivers should reduce their speed, keep a good distance behind the car in front and urged those on the road to use headlights even during the day.

Graham Conway said: "Black ice can catch you off guard. Just slow down - reducing your speed gives you more time to react to any unexpected icy patches.

Mr Conway continued: "Keep a good distance from the vehicle in front to have a buffer in case of sudden stops or skids. It's a simple precaution that can make a significant difference.

"Use your headlights, even during the day. It helps you see better and makes it easier for other drivers to spot you on the road. "