Oh the weather outside is frightful, and the fire is so delightful, but you have places to go, regardless of the snow, of the snow, of the snow! The first winter storm always brings a rash of weather claims and this season was no different. Winter driving can be dangerous so it is essential to stay alert and stay safe!

If at all possible, try to avoid driving during storms, or immediately following, to allow roads to be cleared. Of course, there are times when you are already on the road when the storm hits or an emergency requires you to travel. If this happens, here are a few tips that can help you get to your destination safely.

Drive in moderation. Accelerate and brake more cautiously than if you were on dry roads. The vehicle will get more traction if you accelerate slowly. Also, having a 4-wheel drive vehicle does not mean it will stop faster (all vehicles slide on icy and snowy roads!).

Drive with purpose. Know where you are going and how to get there. Make alternative plans if you know of road closures or areas that are affected by snow. It is likely that you will need to change your preferred route, so be alert and ready to adapt.

Drive with care. Just because you are being a safe and responsible driver does not mean others are too. Keep a greater distance from other vehicles than you normally would in dry conditions. Even if that means driving at a slower speed, it is better to get there a little late but arrive safe!

Drive prepared. There is always risk of a crash or disablement during a winter event. Keep a safety kit in your vehicle that includes road flares (to make yourself visible during poor conditions), jumper cables, water, food, blanket and extra clothes (to keep yourself warm should your vehicle not start), emergency cell phone with an extra charged battery, and contact information for the local authorities and insurance company.

Driving in moderation, with purpose, with care, and being prepared could be the keys to prevent an accident and get you to your destination safely.

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