Winter driving can be a challenge because of the road conditions that come with wintry precipitation. While many drivers are familiar with safe driving practices during this season, it is always a good idea to brush up on a few of them before you head out.

If all drivers use proper safety procedures, many accidents can be prevented. Unfortunately, not all motorists are going to do this. Crashes will happen during these months, some due to unsafe drivers. Take the time to review these tips and you might be able to avoid causing a wreck:

  • Always take your time. It takes longer to drive and stop on snow and ice than it does on dry pavement. You also have to make adjustments for controlling your vehicle so driving at normal speeds might not be possible since you don’t want to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Check your vehicle to ensure that it is ready for you to drive on snow and ice. The tires need to have decent tread. All the fluids should be filled. Ideally, you will have at least half a tank of gas in the vehicle.
  • Keep a safety kit in the vehicle. This should include a shovel to dig out of snow if you are stuck. This can also help you if you are stuck and need to clear snow from the tailpipe. You can also include things like bottled water, nonperishable snacks, blankets, gloves, flares, a flashlight and chargers for your phone.
  • Never drive when you are tired, distracted or inebriated. You need to have a clear mind and abilities when you operate a vehicle in wintry precipitation. Your reactions to situations might have to be different in this weather than what they are in dry conditions.
  • Give other vehicles room to maneuver. Some vehicles, such as semitrucks, will need even more space than usual. Turns might be more difficult. Even starting to move from a complete stop might be more difficult and take longer, so don’t misjudge how fast a vehicle will go when behind one at a red light, for example.

When something happens and you are struck by another vehicle in the ice or snow, you still have rights. Remember that you need to get medical care if you think you are injured. You might opt to seek compensation from the driver — or other parties deemed liable — to help cover your medical bills and other damages that you suffered in the crash.