Don't forget these 5 tips for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe on icy, snowy roads

CLEVELAND - The Ohio Department of Transportation puts about $50 million into keeping streets clear every year, but alone, it isn’t enough to keep you safe. There are things you should do.

While you can’t always prevent a crash, here are a few simple tips to prepare yourself for a safe trip when you’re out in the snow and ice.

#1) Keep it clean. Get up early if you have to but clear off your car’s windows and headlights so you can, in the words of ODOT spokesperson Jocelynn Clemings, “see and be seen.”

#2) Take it slow. The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness says the first snowfall tends to catch drivers off-guard and their first mistake is they forget to take it slow and leave more room between vehicles.

#3) Don’t cruise. Turn off the cruise control because, ODOT says, sudden acceleration or movements could cause your car to slide.

#4) Be prepared. Make sure your tires have the proper amount of tread and keep them inflated. AAA East Central Safety Advisor Lori Cook also says you should fill your windshield wiper reservoir with antifreeze fluid and keep an emergency kit in your car. (Read below for what your kit should have.)

#5) Give it a brake. Edmonds.com says knowing how to best use your brakes can be a life saver. If you have an anti-lock brake system (ABS), you should “Stomp, stay and steer.” But the technique differs if you don’t have the ABS. Click here for their braking guide details.

BONUS TIP: Give snowplows wide berth. While they’re trying to clear the roads, don't tailgate or try to pass.

AAA's Emergency Road Kit checklist:

- ice scraper, cloth or roll of paper towels

- battery starter cables

- first-aid kit

- non-perishable snacks and drinking water

- blanket and gloves

- warning devices such as flares or triangles

- window washing solvent

- flashlight

- traction mats

- snow brush and shovel

- tire chains

- small bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or kitty litter for traction

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