Slow down. This has got to be the most obvious tip of all. When roads get slippery you must take it slower. It’s surprising how many drivers out on the roads don’t do this.
Increase your following distance. In dry conditions, usually 3-4 seconds following distance will give you time to react to what a driver ahead of you may do. In slippery conditions, increase following time to 8-10 seconds. Many, many accidents on the freeway and other major roads could be preventing by following this simple advice.
Consider changing your plans if the roads are too bad. No one wants to miss a sporting event or a concert just because of road conditions, but it is wise to be flexible enough that you could alter how you get there if the roads are bad. Sometimes, it’s wise just to stay home.
Learn your car’s capabilities. Does your car have power brakes or anti-lock brakes? Power brakes need to be pumped to slow down without sliding. With anti-lock brakes, you push down on the brake and it pumps itself to slow the car down. Understand the way your car handles before you are on the road in icy conditions.
Mentally practice what to do if your car slides. Don’t wait until you are in a crisis to figure out what to do if your car slides. If your car is sliding, turn your wheel in the same direction that you are sliding. You may be tempted to turn it the other way, but doing so could cause your car to spin out of control.
Have a winter emergency kit in your car. Be prepared for anything winter can throw at you. Have a scraper, brush, broom, shovel, and kitty litter or sand (for traction). If you got stuck in snow, with these supplies, you most likely should be able to get yourself out. It’s also a good idea to have jumper cables, flares, and some food and emergency blankets.
Keep your gas tank at least half full. Having a full gas tank adds weight to your car and increases traction. It also helps to ensure that you’re not going to be stuck somewhere and be out of gas.