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How to drive safely in snow and ice. Hint: Steer into the skid

Even the slightest bit of ice on the roads can make for treacherous driving conditions.

(USA TODAY) - Even the slightest bit of ice on the roads can make for treacherous driving conditions.

It's always best to avoid the roads in these conditions, but here are five tips to keep you safe on the road if you need to go out for that bread and milk during this weekend's winter weather.

Be prepared: Clear ice and snow off the car before you start driving. Snow left on top of the car can slide off and obstruct your vision and that of those around you. Stock the car with blankets, food and water. Don't forget your phone.

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Charging your phone: Yes, the car is a great place to charge your phone if there's a power outage in your home. But when doing so, don't run your car in a closed garage, and make sure your tailpipe is clear of any snow or ice to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

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How to take a hill: Get some momentum before you start up a hill, and let it carry you to the top. Avoid hitting the gas pedal on the way up because it can cause your wheels to spin. Once you're at the top, reduce your speed and descend slowly.

Skid recovery: If your car starts to skid, steer it in the direction you want the car to go. Avoid slamming or pumping the brake pedal.

Getting stuck: Stay with the vehicle and don't walk outside in severe weather. Keep the dome light on, because it uses a small amount of electricity and attach brightly colored cloth to the window. Conserve gas by turning the engine on only periodically to warm the car. Again, make sure the tailpipe is clear of snow.

Editor's note: This story was originally publish in 2016.