With the forecast calling for rapidly falling temps and the possibility of ice and snow later in the week, it's time to start making plans for the possible delays and cancellations.  Everyone makes the mad dash for the grocery store a day or two before.  Ever try to buy bread or eggs 24 hours before an impending ice storm?  Good luck.

But many of us (myself included) will have no choice but to get out in the cold, the snow and the ice.  We are among the essential staff members of the working world who must brave the winter mess.  Getting to and from your destination safely is job # 1.  The Texas Department of Transportation has some tips to help keep you safe on the road-

  • Wear your seat belt, and make sure all passengers—including children—are buckled up.
  •  Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shady areas. If you hit a patch of ice, stay off your brakes and decelerate slowly, holding the car steady as you go over the ice.
  • Speed is the main problem with driving on ice. Adjust your speed to fit the weather conditions. Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.
  •  If your car goes into a skid, take your foot off the gas pedal but don’t hit the brake. Steer gently in the direction you want the front of the car to go. As the car straightens out, you will be able to regain traction and control.
  • Check your car battery before cold weather sets in. Battery power dips in cold weather.
  • Keep blankets, a first-aid kit, flares, jumper cables, tire chains, a flashlight, ice scraper and gloves in your car. Take a food supply of candy bars or dried fruit in case you become stranded.
  • Keep the gasoline level as high as possible to prevent water condensation in the tank.
  • Check the automobile’s motor oil, transmission fluid, ignition system, lights, heater, cooling system and wipers.

Above all, slow down, take your time and arrive alive.  There's no place you need to be so badly that it's worth risking your safety and the safety of others.  Drive safe, Texoma!