Winter isn’t just coming, it feels like it’s here. For many of us who cut our teeth driving on snow and ice, we feel sure of ourselves as we turnover the engine and roll off down the street. That is not the case for everyone, however.

Some who were raised on snow and ice were trained in by nervous parents or instructors who made them fear the road- and we’re not talking about a healthy fear of the road. We’re talking: sitting fully upright, eyes bugged, white knuckles, 20 miles an hour under the advisable speed for the conditions.

Other drivers are new to snow and ice and don’t know how to adjust to the road conditions. Therefore, they drive at inappropriately high or low speeds or attempt to maneuver as if the road were dry, causing them to lose control.

Regardless of which camp you are in, here are some winter driving tips that could save you from serious injury.

5 winter driving tips:

  • Maintain your vehicle: Check your tire pressure, fill your tank, fill your washer fluid, replace your wiper blades, get your vehicle inspected by a professional.
  • Know your vehicle: Drivers must adjust their handling of the vehicle based on whether it is all-wheel drive, front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel drive. Talk to an expert about handling if you are unsure.
  • Look and steer where you want to go. If you begin to drift of course, AAA recommends that you continue to look and steer where you want to go. While screaming and haphazardly turning the wheel may be your instinct, resist.
  • Adjust speed slowly. Whether you are increasing or decreasing your speed, take it easy. Changing your speed as if the roads were dry could easily cause you to lose control.
  • At least double your following distance. Many rear-end accidents happen in the snow and ice because people forget to increase their following distance. Intersections are known to be icier because of the heat from idling vehicles.

Last, but certainly not least, please put your phone away. Chances are good that the drivers around you are browsing Instagram while traversing the snow and ice. Give yourself an advantage.

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