Winter driving is dangerous at the best of times, so being prepared is key. Whether it’s a blizzard outside or you’re driving on a sunny winter day, there are risks to prepare for.

Remember that even if it’s sunny outside, ice could still be a hazard. Rely on temperatures, not whether or not the sun is out, to determine if ice is a possibility. If you don’t consider that ice could be on the roads due to the sunny conditions, you could end up sliding or skidding off the road.

Thankfully, traction control is standard on most vehicles today. As a result, even if a vehicle starts to slide, it’s easier to get it back under control. How can you help your vehicle stay under control? Slow down. With the possibility of ice, snow and slick roads, slowing down keeps you safer. If you are involved in an accident, it’s less likely to be severe, since you’re traveling at a slower speed to begin with.

Before you head out onto the roads, remember that it’s vital to check your car and to prepare it for the winter conditions. Check the battery, antifreeze level, spark plugs, brakes and ignition. It’s a good idea to take the vehicle for an inspection before the winter, so you don’t end up stalled or in a crash because your brakes went out.

Winter is here, so being safe has to be a priority. With the right maintenance and the right knowledge, you can avoid getting into a crash. If you’re hit and another driver didn’t take steps to prevent it, that helps your case for compensation.

Source: National Safety Council, “Be Prepared for Winter Driving,” accessed Nov. 29, 2017