Winter has hit Tennessee, and even though the state is southern, there are still hazards to be concerned about. Unusual snow fall, heavy rains and chilly days and nights can pose a threat to anyone who has to travel through the state.

Since Tennessee is usually a warmer state, many people aren’t familiar with driving in the snow, on ice or in freezing weather conditions. Snowfall shuts down schools and makes some roads impassable, even though not much has fallen. Unfortunately, the lack of regular snowfall in the state means that drivers are more likely to make mistakes that lead to injuries.

If this is your first time driving in the snow, what should you know?

No matter what kind of hazardous weather you’re facing, the thing to remember is to drive safely. You need to adjust your speed for the conditions. For example, in heavy winds with a tornado warning, you’d slow down or pull over somewhere safe. The same should be true if you’re having trouble driving on slick roads.

It’s good to get into the habit of leaving more space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, especially if the roads are slick from rain, sleet or snow. Your vehicle will need more time to stop. Remember, visibility is sometimes lower in these conditions, too, so you also want to give yourself time to recognize a hazard that is approaching up ahead.

You may also want to include an emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case you get into an accident or need to wait out bad weather. Include blankets, some food and water and perhaps hand warmers or similar items that don’t need power to stay warm.

If you’re hit in bad weather conditions, you may be able to hold the other driver liable. You may want to make a claim to seek compensation.