HAGERSTOWN, Md. (DC News Now) — The weather is doing drivers no favors this time of year when so many of us are on the road.

Car care experts say before hitting the road, think safety first. Make a checklist to be sure your car is up to those frigid, blustery and icy conditions.

“Your tires, your wiper blades — make sure you’ve got plenty of wiper fluid,” said John Hall, owner of H&S Automotive, a NAPA Care Care center. “If you want that car to start up no matter how cold it is, make sure you have a good strong battery in it.”

Scott Keplinger runs a car and truck maintenance and repair shop on Hagerstown’s south end. No matter what mechanical precautions you take he advises drivers to follow the Scout’s motto, “Be prepared!”

“If you’re going to travel long distances keep an extra coat or a blanket because you never know what happens,” Keplinger said. “Even a brand new car can break down.”

Car care professionals like Hall marvel at the modern advancements in vehicle technology but says that when you are behind the wheel, keep your eyes on the road and stay alert.

“Anti-lock braking systems, stability control systems and all-wheel drive systems are absolutely wonderful and can aid in driving in adverse weather conditions, but, honestly, you still have to drive with caution and common sense,” Hall said.

Don’t let that needle on your gas gauge get too close to empty.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds us that last year there were nearly 400 fatal crashes and 25,000 injuries related to crashes caused by icy conditions.