People who live in winter weather states understand the complex differences of driving in the summer vs. driving in the winter. As we get deeper into the winter months, the risk of being involved in a car accident becomes even greater.

Keep these tips in mind as you gear up for the rest of the winter season:

Slow down

No matter how clear the roads might seem, there is always a potential for black ice. Between rain, snow and freezing temperatures you can never be too careful.

Don’t break through turns

Hitting your break while turning puts you at a greater risk of sliding out and losing control of your vehicle. Prepare for upcoming turns by slowing down enough ahead of time, let your steering wheel guide you through the turn.

Steer out of it

After hitting a patch of ice your first instinct will be to hit the break but don’t do it. Just like turning, hitting the break after skidding on ice make your chances for spinning out much greater than if you do your best to steer out of it. Your steering wheel has the most power in these situations, so use it.

Allow more space between cars

Tailgating is always a no-no. You should always leave more than enough space between you and the car in front of you, especially when road conditions are bad. If the person in front of you suddenly hits their breaks, having that space will allow you the reaction time you need.

Leave early

Winter driving makes for longer commutes so plan accordingly. Avoid extra distraction by mapping your route before you leave and giving yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.

Use turn signals

Somehow people tend to forget that cars have turn signals for a reason. Even when the driving conditions aren’t bad a lot of drivers forgo the use of their turn signals which is extremely dangerous and selfish. You are the only one on the road who knows where you’re going, do the other drivers a courtesy and signal your turns so they can prepare for your journey as well.

Keep sunglasses handy

The snow can act as a pretty intense sun reflector making it very difficult to see what’s in front of you. Keeping a pair of sunglasses in your car will be a huge help during those bright winter days when the sun seems to be right at eye level.

Stock up on windshield washer fluid

Always keep an extra bottle of windshield washer fluid in your car. You won’t realize how desperately you need it until you’ve run out of it.