Is your vehicle front-heavy or back-heavy?
If your car is well balanced, that’s a good thing. But if you’re in a front-heavy pickup truck that only puts power to the rear wheels, you’re going to want to put some weight in back to help with traction. Traditional logic dictates that you should use a big bag of sand or kitty litter, so if you happen to get stuck, you can use it to help get you out, as well.
Do you have electronic stability control, and is it any good?
Some cars have stability systems so advanced you’d have to be downright negligent to get into serious trouble. Others have truly awful systems that cut in too late and too abruptly, and can even make things worse. When they're that bad, some people, myself included, tend to turn them off altogether. No matter what, though, don't turn it off in mixed conditions. Why? Because even the worst systems are forever vigilant. It’s one thing to know the roads are bad, but if you’re cruising along and everything seems fine, you can be lulled into a false sense of security and relax your guard. Hit black ice at that moment, and you’ll be glad the engineers in virtual dungeons in Detroit, Tokyo, or Stuttgart didn’t fail you.