Javon Weaver is a semi-truck driver. This past Friday, he was driving through a winter storm that was sweeping the Midwest. As the snow flurries increased and visibility decreased, Weaver found the traffic around him slowing down. Soon everything came to halt in Oak Grove, Mo., a small town about half hour outside of downtown Kansas City. With snow accumulating on the roads and no plows in sight, the only thing Weaver could do was wait.

Then at 11:30 a.m., the accidents started happening.

This footage is truly unbelievable. Car after car comes screaming into the pile as Weaver watches. You can even hear him telling his wife, “There is nothing we can do, man.” The video, which has more than 9 million views on Twitter, is gut wrenching. It is not just the fact that each impact is so violent, but it is the futility viewer’s experience knowing the fate of each car, yet being unable to do anything about it. Ultimately, 47 vehicles were involved in the accident, leaving one person dead.

So What Can We Do?

Driving in severe winter weather can be frightening and dangerous. Slick roads can catch even the best drivers off guard. Nearly half a million people in the United States end up in car crashes each year as a result of winter weather. HW Automotive urges you to take these tips into consideration when driving in snowy or icy conditions.

Drive Slower

Do not take unnecessary risks. When winter weather strikes, only go out if you absolutely have to. If you do have to drive, make sure to leave early and drive slower. Each turn of the wheel and tap of the brakes should be deliberate and smooth. The goal is to have a gentle and gradual ride. Driving slower will also allow you to correct yourself if you do find your car starting to skid. You may even want to consider snow tires.

Check Your Tread

Traction is crucial when driving on slick surfaces. A tire is legally worn out if the tread depth is 1/16 of an inch. A good way to test this is with a penny. If you place a penny in the tread and Lincoln’s entire head is visible, the tire needs to be replaced. This is also a good time to inspect other parts of your car too. Make sure to check your antifreeze levels, battery power, defroster, rear window, and exhaust pipe in particular.

Accelerate and Decelerate with Caution

Speeding up and slowing down is more difficult in slippery road conditions because your vehicle does not have complete traction. Using extra caution gives you a larger margin of error in case of emergency. This means giving more space to the cars in front of you, not trying to beat stoplights, and not punching the gas when going up or down snow-covered hills.

Be prepared for anything, including getting buried in snow.

Be Prepared

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” When it comes to getting through the winter, there are a couple things you can do to ensure you don’t end up bearing the brunt of the wrong end. We recommend having half of tank of gas at all times, if possible. Also, bring warm clothes just in case you get stuck in the snow or stranded with a flat tire. If you are stranded, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help conserve fuel for later.