Prepare now for slick, snowy roads

As cold weather approaches, the entire Midwest braces for snow. If you have to drive during a winter storm, the risk for a serious auto accident significantly increases. 

Prepare for slick, snowy travel with these safety tips for driving in winter. 

Buy snow tires

Without enough tread, your tires will slip and slide on icy roads. Your car will have better traction with snow tires. If you decide not to use snow tires, make sure you keep your tires inflated to manufacturer specs and replace them when your tread becomes worn. 

Pack for emergencies

If you venture out, you could become stranded on impassible roads. Pack your trunk with necessities in case you have to wait in your vehicle for assistance. Your emergency kit should include a snow shovel, a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, an extra cell phone with charger, warm clothing, blankets, kitty litter for tire traction, water bottles, and energy bars or trail mix. 

Adjust your schedule

Stay home if at all possible when the news forecasts snow and ice. You should always stay off the roads if the Department of Transportation issues a travel advisory, which indicates that highways are unsafe for travel. The plows have difficulty clearing snow in the presence of heavy vehicle traffic. Plan your route to avoid busy areas and roads with steep inclines. 

If you do get in an auto accident this winter, you may have legal recourse if another driver caused the incident with negligent actions such as speeding. The court could find him or her responsible for medical bills, lost wages and other associated costs of a serious injury.