Driving is a task that requires constant attention to changing conditions. Many factors lead to vehicular accidents, including road conditions, weather, distractions (cell phones) and failure to follow basic safe driving rules. Winter drivers also can including treacherous “black ice” that cannot easily be detected until it’s too late. Especially watch for icy patches on bridges and in the shade.

● Winterize vehicles. Check batteries, tires, windshield wipers, washer fluid and antifreeze. Keep cell phones charged.

● Drivers should stay below posted speed limits in bad weather and keep a safe distance from the next vehicle.

● Be ready to reduce speed in case of sudden stops.

● Keep your lights on. Make sure other vehicles can see you.

● Use safe braking techniques to avoid skidding. Ease off the accelerator. If your vehicle has antilock brakes (ABS), brake firmly and steer. Without ABS, pump the brakes to avoid wheel lock-up. Always gently steer into a skid to regain control of the vehicle.