CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Winter weather has arrived in western Massachusetts, which can bring with it dangers on the road.

AAA experts say this is a good reminder to start preparing your car for winter’s worst, and a good reminder to drivers to be more cautious out on the roads as we transition into this next season.

Crews were out yesterday afternoon preparing for this weather by treating the roads to make them safer for drivers today. We’ve also seen the plows out bright and early.. hopefully making it a smooth morning commute for people heading to work.

“When there is snow on the ground, our stopping distance significantly increases,” said Mark Schieldrop from AAA. “If your tire is a little worn out, you do not want to be on a slippery road.”

22News is working for you with a winter prep checklist for your car:

  • Make sure to check your tire’s tread
    • Switching to snow tires can help with driving on slippery roads
  • Check the condition of your car’s tires
    • Take a penny and put it Lincoln’s head down into the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, that means your tread is worn down and it’s time to change your tires
  • Make sure to fill your tires up with air
    • Low air pressure in your tires can be dangerous on snow-covered roads
  • Stay up to date on your car’s maintenance
    • Experts suggest changing your oil, antifreeze, and replacing windshield wipers as well as your car’s battery

And with the change in the weather, it’s also a good time to change your driving behavior.

“Ease up on that gas pedal a little bit,” Schieldrop recommends. “If there is snow on the ground, you definitely need to reduce your speed to stay safe.

And in the event of a car accident during wintertime, make sure to pack your car with an emergency kit including blankets, water, and a snow shovel.

Also a helpful tip from AAA; keep cat litter in your car to help give your tires more traction if it gets stuck in the snow.

Maybe the most important is to drive carefully, there are some substantial puddles on the roads in areas of the region. They can be hard to see especially when it is dark.

At this time this winter mix does not appear to be sticking to the ground, so it looks like you won’t have to break out those shovels just yet.