Are you prepared to drive in the snow and ice? Here are 8 big mistakes to avoid when driving in bad weather.

1. Icy Windows

Make sure you can see clearly out of your car windows. Before driving, remove all of the ice and snow from your windshield. In addition to de-icing your windows, make sure your headlights and taillights are completely visible before driving.

Car Snow Photo Credit: IVYPHOTOS (iStock).

Photo Credit: IVYPHOTOS (iStock).

2. Speeding

Use caution when driving on icy or snowy roads. Speedy drivers can cause serious or fatal car crashes. Always be extra careful during the winter season and drive slow. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive safely at your destination

3. Panicking

The number one rule for driving in bad weather is to remain calm. Don’t panic. If your car starts to slide or make any other sudden movements, avoid slamming on the breaks. In most cases, your tires will regain traction and you can proceed to drive safely on the road again.

Photo Credit: Scrubhiker (USCdyer) (Flickr).

Photo Credit: Scrubhiker (USCdyer) (Flickr).

4. Texting and Driving

Texting and driving is extremely dangerous, especially when the roads are covered in rain, snow, or ice. Not to mention, in most states, texting while driving is highly illegal. According to the DMV, more than a 1,000 people are injured every day due to a distracted driver. Put your phone away and pay attention to the road!

5. Failing To Do Maintenace

Don’t make the costly mistake of ignoring the maintenance of your vehicle. Keeping your car in good shape with routine checks and maintenance is important, especially when venturing out into harsh winter storms. Be sure to check the air levels and overall condition of your tires before winter storms start approaching.

Car Photo Credit: gilaxia (iStock).

Photo Credit: gilaxia (iStock).

6. Driving on Empty

Don’t take the risk of driving your vehicle on low or empty gas. If you run out of gas while driving, you could cause damage to your vehicle or worse, you could get stranded in the middle of a harsh winter storm. For added safety, make sure your gas tank is no less than half full during the winter season.

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7. Tailgating Too Close

Stop tailgating! When snowy conditions are present on the roads, be sure to create extra space between yourself and the car driving in front of you. This way if you have trouble stopping or your car starts to slide on a patch of ice, you will avoid rear-ending the car in front of you.

Winter Photo Credit: filmfoto (iStock).

Winter Photo Credit: filmfoto (iStock).

8. No Emergency Supplies

From road closures to winter storms, you never know what to expect in the winter. Keep your car well-stock with emergency winter supplies including, a shovel, first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, water bottles, and jumper cables. For a full list of emergency supplies to keep in your car for the winter, click here.

Avoid these big mistakes when driving in bad weather and you’ll be safe and accident-free on the road.