Winter and all of its challenging driving conditions will soon be upon us. Poor road conditions due to ice, snow and wind, inevitably cause drivers to stay home or venture out with fear. Accidents are more likely to occur when drivers feel intimidated by these circumstances. There are ways to navigate winter driving that can reduce the chances of accidents and with planning avoid them all together. Here are 5 tips to help you get through the winter season safely.

1. Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly. To avoid skids apply the gas slowly. This way you will regain traction. Do not get in a hurry because without traction, the car will behave unpredictably. Take time to slow down for a stop light or stop sign.

2. Don’t Try Too Many Things At the Same Time. When you are driving on slick pavement use the traction that you have for what you need most at the time. You can accelerate, steer or brake but you will have to adjust how you apply them. When you are braking and you need to make a turn or slight curve, you may need to release the brakes a little. Also, if you are turning or rounding a bend you may need to let off the gas a little. This will prevent your car from spinning or head in a direction you were not planning on.

3. Be Prepared for the UN-expected. It pays to anticipate the winter months. Make sure your tires are in good condition and if possible use winter tires. Visibility is extremely important and your wiper blades should be the winter variety or at the least not cracked or broken. Keep your washer fluid full also. Carrying a ice scraper, tow strap, shovel, kitty litter, blankets, flash light and emergency kit can be a life saver when you are stranded.

Keeping your car in safe working condition and making good decisions about traveling out in bad winter conditions will help minimize your chances of accidents. Planning and executing these few tips will improve your safety and help you to feel confidant that you are prepared for winter driving.