While people often romanticize a white Christmas, it’s hard to appreciate the snow and ice when it’s on the road. For those without a garage or roofed place to park, it can mean an extra 10 minutes of scraping off snow from the car before going anywhere. And for anyone driving, it means the potential for slips and accidents.

There’s no guaranteed way to make it out of winter unscathed, but preparing in advance can lessen the chance of severe accidents. That’s why drivers should:

  • Keep extra warm clothes such as jackets, hats and gloves inside the car. Emergency blankets can also come in handy.
  • Get your car checked before the weather turns ugly. Mechanical problems can become much more dangerous in the winter because getting stuck on the side of the road will mean waiting in freezing temperatures. Your brakes and heater should be in top condition.
  • Make sure your tires have enough tread for battling icy roads or invest in snow tires. Snow tires are specifically designed to get better traction on ice and snow. They can help prevent accidental slides while driving.
  • Check the engine coolant and antifreeze to make sure freezing temperatures don’t hinder your car’s ability to drive.

Watch for other drivers

Now that you’ve gotten your car ready, it’s important to remember that other drivers may be the biggest threat when driving during winter. If they haven’t done their due diligence, they may find themselves sliding into other vehicles. It’s important to give other cars plenty of room because you never know how good their tires’ traction is–allow them more time to stop and turn.

Hopefully, with this preparation, you’ll be able to enjoy any snow that comes this without worry.