The winter driving season is right around the corner, and while driving in snowy and icy conditions can be treacherous and downright nerve-wracking, there are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of getting in an accident.

You can check several things on your car to make sure it's prepared for winter driving. You'll want to check your vehicle's fluids and make sure the wiper blades are working properly. You should also make sure the defroster is functioning correctly and your tires are in good condition. Taking your car to a mechanic will prepare it for the upcoming winter driving season.

But what can you do to protect yourself and your automobile while you're actually on the road in hazardous driving conditions? Here's a quick list of tips that will make traveling less tricky when the snow begins to fall.

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    Accelerate slowly

    Accelerating slowly will help you maintain traction and avoid skidding. It will also allow you to regain traction if your wheels do start to slip. It's a good idea to take it slow on snow-covered roads, and that includes gradually increasing your speed while accelerating.

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    Apply the brakes early and lightly

    Decelerating too quickly may cause your vehicle to skid. Ease onto the break and allow yourself plenty of time to stop, as it takes more time to stop in icy and snowy conditions. Breaking late and too quickly may cause you to slide through an intersection or into the vehicle in front of you.

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    Do not use cruise control

    If your wheels start to slip, your vehicle will accelerate, attempting to maintain a constant speed. This will increase your chance of losing control of your vehicle. Controlling the speed of your car manually will allow you to ease off the gas if you do start to skid.

  • Jeff Swensen, Getty Images
    Jeff Swensen, Getty Images

    Do not drive too quickly up hills and avoid stopping

    Gradually increase your speed as you approach an incline. Accelerating quickly halfway up a hill will cause your wheels to spin. Reduce your speed as you reach the crest of the incline and proceed down the hill at a safe speed. Try not to stop halfway up a hill, as you may lose traction and skid when you attempt to accelerate.

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    Clear snow and ice from your vehicle

    Snow and ice should be cleared from you windows, lights and roof before traveling. If snow is left on your roof it may slide down your windshield, leaving you blind. It may also fly off your car and into the path of the vehicle behind you.

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