California drivers will want to prepare themselves for winter road conditions. Though it may not happen as often as in other states, winter weather will cause the roads to become wet, icy or snowy. With this comes a loss of traction, longer stopping distances and a higher risk for cars spinning out of control.

One of the first things to do, then, is slow down. This may mean even going below the posted speed limit. Drivers should maintain a distance of five to six seconds minimum from the vehicle in front of them. This should be done every season. Drivers will also want to brake sooner and do so gently. When coming to a red light, drivers can try to keep momentum rather than stop completely since accelerating from a stopped position comes with risks.

Learning how to brake properly is important when drivers own cars that are equipped with automatic braking and features like brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution. As for accelerating, this should be done gently as well. Traveling uphill, drivers should ideally avoid feeding gas; otherwise, the wheels might needlessly spin. They can gain momentum before the hill and then slow down when they get to the crest. Above all, drivers can avoid accidents by making trips only when it’s necessary.

If drivers fail to maintain control of their vehicles in wintry conditions, they will be to blame for any car crashes that result. When those crashes involve injury, the responsible driver’s insurance company will likely face a claim. Victims may want a lawyer to evaluate their case and determine how much they might be eligible for in damages. These damages might include medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and future lost income. Victims may have their lawyer negotiate a settlement for them.