You’re zipping down the road on a chilly winter’s day, radio blaring and you’re preoccupied with life. It’s snowing lightly, just enough to cover the road, but you’re paying little attention to driving conditions.

Without warning, a blotch of black ice lurking under the thin coat of snow throws your car into a skid. You’ve gone from rocking out to Led Zeppelin oldies on your 7-speaker audio system to spinning out of control, landing backwards, staring horrified at the traffic headed directly toward your front end. How did that happen?

Perhaps you didn’t take Mother Nature seriously enough to turn off the radio and focus only on driving. Fortunately you’re safe, so next time the weather isn’t cooperating you can put safe driving practices into use to prevent another mishap.

When weather is bad, ask yourself whether you really need to go out. If it’s not an emergency or a critical need for food, water, or supplies, it’s best to stay right at home where it’s warm and safe. The fewer drivers there are on the road, the less chance for accidents.

If you really must go out be prepared before you ever step into your vehicle.