Winter is still officially a few days away, but most of us are already growing weary of the snowy, arctic blast we've been experiencing since December began.
While the best thing to do is stay off the hazardous snow-covered roads, in reality, few adults have the luxury of being able to hibernate all winter. The work-a-day world and many of life's other necessities, require most of us to venture out into the wrath of winter.
If you're one of the unfortunate ones who must go out, even when the weather man advises against it, there are a few driving precautions you can take to make your trip safer.
First, when roads are icy and/or snow-covered, take it easy - slow your vehicle down to prevent sliding and losing control.
Don't tailgate. Following too closely is illegal, and it's something no one should do even in the best of weather. Riding someone else's back bumper can quickly cause a deadly accident if roads are slippery, or when driving in areas where deer also like to play in the roadway. Remember: If you strike someone from the rear, it's always your fault.
Pay attention. Don't be distracted by answering cell phones, reading or sending text messages, or by the radio or passengers. Keep your focus on the road.
And, when the weather is especially treacherous, be sure to dress warmly and pack a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Include things like blankets, flares, jumper cables, salt or cinders for added traction if you become stuck and a small shovel.
Leave a little early and make sure you clear all of the snow and ice from your car to ensure good visibility.
Winter is miserable and dangerous, but careful driving and adequate preparation can make it bearable.