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Did the first snow fall of the season make you ask yourself ‘Did everybody forget how to drive?’ Well, you’re not alone. Even though it happens every year, the winter season always seem to catch us off guard when we’re behind the wheel. Here are 7 tips to keep safe while navigating the icey roads this winter:

Use winter tires The number one must-have is a good set of winter tires. Not only can they reduce your stopping distance by 25%, but they provide superior traction as well. Plus, you may be eligible for a winter tire discount on your policy.

Clear windshield It can be tempting to start driving with just the driver’s side of the windshield clear, but it’s extremely dangerous. Be sure the entire windshield, side mirrors, rear window and lights are completely ice-free before you go anywhere. You’ll also need de-icer windshield washer fluid so you can keep things clear while you drive.

Slow and steady Slick surfaces and low light are a recipe for disaster. Cold conditions call for slower movement, especially when you’re making a turn.

Mind the gap Give yourself at least a 10 second distance between yourself and the car in front of you.

On thin ice If you hit black ice or a slippery patch causes you to skid, take your foot off the accelerator and allow your speed to drop naturally until you regain control. Your initial reaction may be to hit the brakes, but this will just extend the skidding.

Light up If the visibility is low, make sure your headlights are turned on and shining bright. This will improve your vision, and let other drivers see you as well.

Emergency Winter Kit Keep a stash of dry clothes, warm blankets, non-perishable foods and a small shovel in your trunk just in case you become stuck or stranded.

For more information on our winter tire discount, contact one of our expert advisers today.