In many parts of the U.S., the winter months can be a dangerous time of year to get behind the wheel. With snows, ice and winter storms that bring heavy rainfall and strong winds, there are a number of weather-related hazards to watch out for. In some instances, it might be smart to avoid driving until conditions have improved. Some people, however, have to drive to work or take to the road for some other important reason. You should never drive when you are worried the road conditions being unsafe, but there are some hazards to watch out for throughout the winter and a number of tips to stay safe.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published an informational piece which covers some of the different strategies that drivers can employ to stay safe when driving during the winter. For example, drivers should always be prepared for dangers that may lie ahead, from planning their routes properly to clearing windows and checking their vehicle beforehand. It is also helpful to have a shovel on hand in case you get stuck and a working flashlight, especially since days are shorter.

Drivers should know how to handle their vehicle when going over ice, drive slower when necessary and ensure that they are not following behind other vehicles too closely. As with any other time of the year, it is important to avoid driving while intoxicated and use seat belts as well as child safety seats appropriately. These are some helpful tips to keep in mind during the winter.