Winters can bring harsh and ever-changing weather conditions. Driving hazards such as limited visibility, black ice, avalanche-prone areas and snow removal equipment are just some that may be encountered on winter roads. Only travel in winter weather when necessary, leave enough time to safely reach your destination and plan your route to avoid snowy and icy areas and steep hills. Remove snow and ice from all vehicle windows, mirrors, lights, turn signals and license plates. Make sure you turn on headlights to see and be seen, and that you turn off cruise control. Try to avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually.
When driving in the winter, one of the best things you can do is to reduce the speed you are driving. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions. Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles. Keep additional distance from other vehicles. Typically this should be three seconds or three car lengths. When the weather or road conditions are less than ideal, this should be increased. Also be aware of the potential of black ice. As the temperatures warm up, or the sun melts some of the snow, it can then refreeze into the form of black ice. This is dangerous because you typically do not know it is there, until you are driving over it.
Also remember to keep your fuel tank at least half full. This helps to ensure you have enough fuel to reach your destination. It is also recommended in order to prevent the fuel lines from freezing up. If you are in an accident or stranded, you will want as much fuel as possible so you can keep running your vehicle to stay warm.