If you’ve seen the wrath of Winter Storm Nika on Twitter – or perhaps looked outside your very own window, you know that driving anywhere in this weather isn’t a good idea.

But maybe your boss calls you in with a last minute request or you’re forced to drive to the grocery store – besides clearing your driveway and car of snow, what are the best ways to stay safe on these slippery roads? Snowstorm Nika aside, our Boston winter has seen an ample amount of snow, ice and sleet, so far. And according to the Groundhog’s prediction, there may be plenty more where that came from.

So, here to lend some winter weather driving advice are a few tips from Travelers – as well as your very own winter weather driving survival kit (below). Good luck and stay safe out there!

Safety Driving Tips

Always have a winter survival kit on hand

When it comes to snow and ice, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if your area doesn’t get snow often, you’ll be happy to have it on hand. Kits should include an ice scraper and brush, snow shovel and sand/salt. Jumper cables are also a good idea since batteries are prone to failure during cold weather. It’s a good idea to keep a blanket, hat, boot and mittens in the car, in case of an emergency. And, for long road delays, a gallon of water and box of granola bars can stave off panic.

To maximize visibility, less is more

When driving in snow and ice storms, it’s tempting to turn on your high beams. This actually makes it more difficult to see so keep your lights settings to low beams and turn on your windshield wipers for the best visibility.

Crawl before you walk

When snow hits, the roads are guaranteed to be slippery. Many southern states aren’t accustomed to snowy, icy roads and don’t have the resources to sand or salt the roads. Slow driving to a crawl, especially when approaching a turn or intersection.

Be prepared for backed up traffic

Blizzards are a nightmare for commuters because they know it will take longer to get home due to slowed down driving. More time on the road means more gas being used so be prepared and never start your trip with less than a half tank of gas in the winter.

Don’t slam your breaks when slipping

It’s instinct to slam on the brakes when you feel your car slipping on ice. Many cars have an anti-lock braking system to help with this, but the best strategy is to just take your foot off the gas and let your car regain control by slowing down. This will help your car gain the traction it needs to stabilize, as opposed to losing traction when slamming on the brakes.

Image via Travelers