AAA offers drivers safety tips as winter-like weather moves into Ohio, Michigan

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Whether you like it or loathe it, snow has made its return and will be a regular part of life for the next few months.

"It's here to stay for a while," said Kira Brooks of Toledo. "So, just get ready."

As we brace ourselves for the cold and snow, experts with AAA also want to remind us of the importance of being safe on the roads.

"This is our busy season for sure," said Mike Brown of AAA of Northwest Ohio.

Last more than 13,000 crashes happened on Ohio's roads during snowy weather, according to the state department of public safety.

AAA says one way to reduce your chances of getting in a wreck is by putting plenty of space between you and other cars in bad weather.

"Leave yourself about 10 seconds," said Brown. "AAA recommends you have about 10 seconds from the vehicle in front of you."

Another way to ensure you stay on the road is by keeping your fingers off the cruise control.

"In slippery conditions your cruise control can actually slow your reaction times," said Brown. "So if it's going to be icy and snowy outside try not to use your cruise control."

If you find yourself on the side of the road, Brown says it's always a good idea to keep an "emergency kit" with helpful items handy.

"You want to carry a flashlight with extra batteries," said Brown. "Try to carry some kitty litter—it's not a bad idea. You can put the kitty litter underneath your drive wheels and get some extra traction."

While road crews are ready to help 24-7, 365, experts say following tips like these helps keep everyone safe on the roads when the snow flies.