During snowy/icy conditions the roads can become slippery and the visibility poor. Follow these safety precautions to stay safe when driving:

Slow Down

If you’re traveling on slippery or slushy roads, you should reduce your speed. Speed limits are based on ideal conditions, and if you are driving through snow, you’re not going to be able to go as fast as you would on a clear, warm day. Allow yourself more time to get to your destination if you must drive in the snow.

Increase Following Distance

In addition to slowing down, you should allow for more distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. The normal following distance rule of 3 to 4 seconds should become 8 to 10 seconds in winter weather. This will make it easier to stop if you need to.

Use Your Headlights

When you’re driving in the snow, you should have your headlights on. This will improve your visibility and allow other drivers to see you. Just be sure that you keep your headlights clean so you are getting the most use out of them.

Don’t Slam On Your Brakes

Unfortunately, skidding and slipping are common occurrences in snowy weather, and when you find yourself losing control of your car, the natural inclination is to brake hard. But slamming on the brakes actually makes things worse: it causes your tires to lose traction, making it even more difficult for you to control the vehicle. Instead of immediately hitting the brakes, ease off the accelerator when you feel the car start to skid. This will allow the car to slow down on its own. If your car has anti-lock brakes (ABS), you should brake steadily; if you don’t have ABS, pump the brakes quickly.

Drive with Plenty of Gas

During the winter, you should always drive with at least half a tank of gas. This will prevent your gas line from freezing. It’s smart to have this much gas in the car anyway—you don’t want to get stranded somewhere in the snow! Be sure you’re fueling up regularly so you’re not taking any chances.