The first month of the new year has brought concern to many Missouri residents as record snow storms have hit the Midwest. Many drivers reported accidents due to slippery conditions, losing control of the vehicle. Crashes began happening the end of January with medical and law enforcement responding.

Most of the accidents were caused by black ice and low visibility. Motorists are cautioned against driving whenever road conditions are subjected to severe winter storms. Many drivers do not anticipate the number of hazards on the road until it is too late.

What can drivers do to be safe? Here are a few tips for staying safe during the winter months.

When in doubt, stay put – Drivers who do not have to be on the road are best to stay put wherever they are as much as possible. Or try to only make short trips near your home.

Always go slow Give yourself plenty of time to get wherever you need to be. Don’t be in a rush, even if you are running late. Always go slow. Driving slow will dramatically decrease your odds of an accident in snowy, icy conditions.

Visibility is key – Make sure you can see clearly from your windows and mirrors. Check your visibility before you leave your home. If you must take something with you to pull over and clear your windows, do so. Also, make sure all your lights are working. Visibility is pivotal when you are trying to navigate the treacherous road conditions with other vehicles all around.

Never take your driving experience for granted or make assumptions that you’ll be okay when you rush out the door. Your safety is everything and so are the lives of those you share the road with. Avoid accidents and the consequences that accompany them altogether this winter and every season.