Since today is the first official day of winter it is time to think about winter driving challenges and the condition of our vehicles.
Check your vehicle to make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated (and never mix radial tires with other tire types). The legal minimum tread depth is only about 1/3 of what is really needed for proper performance on snow. Your defroster system and windshield wipers will see extra duty so be sure they are in good working order. Keep a snow brush and ice scraper handy along with an extra gallon of windshield washer fluid. Include an emergency kit with first aid supplies, flashlight, blanket, and reflective triangles.
If driving in mountainous regions the best advice is to stay off the roads; however, if travel is required you may also want to carry tire chains (check local laws first), sand, and a shovel. If driving in remote areas or on divided highways with limited exits, you should consider carrying a sleeping bag, boots and warm clothing.
Lastly, drive with extra caution when weather and driving conditions change, and use your seat belt every time you get in to your vehicle. Check out the following links for more information concerning winter driving.