MIDWEST — While it's not winter yet, cold and snow have already made an appearance in multiple areas. The winter-like conditions can cause slippery road conditions, leading to fatal crashes. The American Automobile Association said terrible road conditions, bad weather and winter storms account for nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter. 

To ensure drivers get to their destinations safely, AAA gave these tips.

Driving in cold weather

  • Keep cold-weather gear in the car, including warm clothing, extra food and water, a flashlight and blankets
  • Check your tires to make sure they're properly inflated and have a thick tread
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full
  • Don't warm up your car in enclosed areas, such as a garage
  • Avoid cruise control if roads are covered in snow and ice

Driving in snow

  • Stay home if you can and only go out if necessary
  • Take your time and slow down
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly, which helps the car gain traction and avoid sliding
  • Increase your following distance to five to six seconds, that way you have more time to stop
  • Try not to come to a complete stop if possible; if you slow down enough and have enough time to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, it's the better option.
  • Don't floor it up hills, as it could cause your wheels to spin
  • Don’t stop going up a hill

Other tips

  • Have your vehicle checked before hitting the road
  • Check the weather beforehand
  • Notify others of your travels in case of emergency
  • If you get stuck in the snow, stay with your vehicle, don't overexert yourself by digging out the car and be visible to others (use bright colored clothing)
  • Make sure snow isn't clogging the exhaust pipe, because if it does, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning