Drive carefully in snowy conditions

This weekend’s blast of winter weather, and winter driving, caught many motorists off guard. Swift snowfalls Friday and then again Sunday afternoon led to several accidents in the area. Still more snow is forecast for this week.

For those who must venture out into snowy driving conditions, we offer 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.