Driving habits change with the weather

So much for Indian summer.

Mild weather that brought a high temperature near 60 Thursday was to yield to a wintry mix overnight. A forecast calling for freezing rain, sleet and 3-5 inches of snow is the kind that has visions of a snow day dancing in schoolkids’ heads. And in the heads of their teachers.

Many others, however, will have to go to work today or venture outside for other reasons – heeding, of course, any snow emergency levels. For those people, we forward these tips, courtesy AAA:

Stop gradually on ice or snow. Never slam on the brakes.

When skidding, motorists should take their feet off the pedals and keep their eyes focused on where they want to go, instead of on the obstacle they’re trying to avoid.

Keep sufficient distance between vehicles.

Leave early; expect trips to take longer in bad weather.

Remember to adapt to the driving conditions. That typically means driving slower than the speed limit.

“Don’t overextend your vehicle’s capability in wintry conditions,” said AAA’s director of automotive service, Bill Linsenmayer. “Slow down and get there alive.”

In addition to an ice scraper and snow brush, carry these items in your vehicle:

Jumper cables.

Blankets and extra clothes to stay warm. Include some gloves.

A flashlight and extra batteries.

Safety flares or reflectors.

A shovel.

A first-aid kit.

Water and non-perishable food.

A cellular phone and charger to call for help.

Drive safely, and only if you must.