When you drive in Indiana during the winter months, you understand that you’ll come face to face with inclement weather every now and again. From snow to ice, it’s important to prepare for everything.

It takes attention to detail to drive safely during the winter months. Here are five tips that can help keep you safe:

  • Drive slowly: If you do nothing else, make it a habit to slow down when there is snow or ice on the road. Doing this allows you to more easily maintain control of your vehicle at all times.
  • Leave a greater following distance: It takes longer to stop your vehicle when the road is wet. If you don’t leave enough space between your vehicle and others, there’s a greater chance of a collision.
  • Avoid fast accelerations: Smashing the gas pedal for any reason can cause your tires to spin out, thus losing control of your vehicle. When accelerating, do so in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Don’t tackle big hills: It’s okay to travel up a hill if conditions allow, but don’t push your limit. If you’re unsure of your ability to reach the top safely, search for an alternative route.
  • Watch what’s happening around you: This is important at all times of the year, regardless of conditions, but it’s worth mentioning again. Distractions when road conditions are less than ideal can lead to a serious accident.

One last thing you can do is stay at home if you’re not comfortable driving in the conditions. It’s not something you want to do, especially if you have somewhere important to be, but your safety should take priority over everything else.

If you’re part of an accident this winter, move your vehicle out of traffic and immediately call 911. You should also check yourself for injuries and administer first aid if possible.

Depending on the severity of the accident, you may be able to provide police with a statement and exchange information with the other driver.

As you receive treatment and think about your future, contact your insurance agent to file a claim. When doing so, don’t answer any questions that make you uncomfortable. Instead, learn more about your policy and legal rights before forging ahead.