The holiday weekend ended with a crash, bang, boom for many drivers in Buffalo, New York, this year as the area had its first lake-effect snowfall, creating dangerous driving conditions and catching many drivers off guard.

The cold weather also created ice covered roads, much more dangerous than simply snow covered roads. Snow plows were out in force nearly all day Sunday, as municipalities tried to keep travel routes open for those folks who needed to be out and about or those returning from visiting family before the work week began on Monday.

In all, more than six inches of snow fell in Buffalo, and nearly the same amounts in surrounding areas. The snow was predicted, but still many drivers were unprepared for the midday snow. This led to a number of vehicle collisions on Interstate 90 West and Route 219. Both of these are major roadways for travelers in the area, and both were either snow covered or ice-covered throughout most the day.

Although winter comes every year there are still many drivers caught unaware, or unprepared for the hazards it brings with it. They either fail to slow down and increase stopping distance and reaction time, both of which are shortened by the wet and slipper weather; or they drive without having a good reason to do so when conditions are less than optimum.

The best advice for drivers who must venture out during winter weather is to slow down. When roads are slick it takes you car a lot longer to stop, or even slow down, than it does when the weather is dry. These slick roads can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle even when you are NOT stopping or slowing down. just driving on snow or ice can cause your vehicle to hydro-plane, meaning your wheels actually lose contact with the pavement and instead ride on a wave of wetness. If this does happen take your foot off the accelerator and pump your brakes (or, in the case of vehicles with anti-lock braking systems, press down firmly) and let you vehicle come gradually to a stop.

But, the best advice is, if you don’t need to be driving when the weather turns wintry, just stay home.