Winter is coming, so it’s time to consider an important question: How can you stay safe while driving during one of the most dangerous times to be on the road?

There are plenty of precautions you can take to protect yourself from the harsh conditions you’ll likely face behind the wheel this winter. Here’s some to keep in mind:

  • Before driving, utilize a snow brush and ice scraper to prevent anything from falling on your windshield or side mirrors while driving.
  • Make sure your vehicle is completely defrosted prior to pulling out of your driveway.
  • Driving slow is the way to go during a winter storm (but the best option is staying home, if possible).
  • If you must drive in a storm, try to take a back road rather than the highway.
  • Don’t attempt to drive through a storm without a full gas tank, proper oil levels and a charged cell phone.
  • Don’t get too close to the person in front of you–it’s not always easy to see ice on the road, which can unexpectedly propel you forward.
  • Try to leave the party a little earlier than usual since darkness arrives sooner in the winter.
  • Drinking and driving should never be mixed, but winter conditions make this combination even more deadly.
  • Keep a blanket and warm clothes in your car in the event you get stranded or your car unexpectedly stops running.
  • Driving during the winter can be stressful, but taking the proper safeguards can make accidents and other unfortunate situations less likely. Stay safe this winter!