NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The chances seem to be increasing that morning drivers in North Texas will have to traverse through some type of winter weather.

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for parts of North Texas — including Denton and Tarrant County. Weather conditions could include freezing rain, sleet and snow.

For those of you who can’t delay traveling be sure and let others know when you plan to leave, your intended route, destination and estimated time of arrival.

Before you get behind the wheel your vehicle needs to be prepped to drive in the harsh conditions.

AAA Texas suggests you –

  • Clear all snow and ice from the vehicle’s windows, roof, hood, trunk lid and any other covered areas
  • Use an ice scraper to remove snow and ice from your windshield and all windows, including side and rear windows.
  • To optimize visual clarity, clean the outside and inside of your windshield at least once a week
  • Keep your car’s windshield and rear-window defrosters in good working condition
  • Keep your windshield wiper blades fresh

Once on the road drivers should –

  • Make sure your headlights are on
  • Reduce your speed and leave plenty of room to stop — allowing at least three times more space than usual between you and the vehicle in front of you
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding
  • Do not use cruise control on any wet, snow-covered or icy roads
  • Be aware of possible icy roads. Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses
  • Be careful on side street and infrequently traveled roads, which may not be cleared as often as other roads

One of the most complicated things to do while driving in winter weather is brake. When trying to avoid a crash or collision and in winter conditions AAA Texas recommends steering over braking, because less distance is required to steer around an object than to come to a complete stop.

When steering isn’t an option you should expect the worst and plan stopping distances as early as possible. Experts advise looking 20 to 30 seconds ahead of your vehicle to ensure you have time and space to stop safely.

If for some reason you have to stop before reaching your destination experts suggest pulling off the road as far as you can, preferably past the end of a guardrail. If possible, it’s always best to avoid stopping on the shoulder. Pulling into a rest area or parking lot is safer.