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Here in the New York City area we are getting our first dusting of snow. Last night, I begrudgingly and with Scrooge-like scowls trudged into my basement to bring up a bucket of salt for my walks and paths. It got me thinking……

Please be careful driving, and remember that when bad weather and icy conditions hit, it is not a good idea to speed up so you get to your destination sooner. Unless, of course, you like the idea of having your last name changed to "Defendant."

Pack up some kitty litter in your car (for traction) if you get stuck in snow, along with a collapsible shovel. If you find yourself stuck in the snow, spinning your wheels is like…uhh…..well……spinning your wheels. You will just get stuck deeper. Turn your front tires to the left and right to help clear as much snow away from the wheels as you can, and use your handy shovel to clear the rest. The kitty litter (or sand) will help the tires grab and get you out.

Next time you stop for gas, pick up an extra gallon of winter windshield fluid and keep it in the car. You never realize the reservoir is empty until you have freezing sleet in front of your face. Opening the widow and trying to wipe your windshield clear with your left hand while driving on I95 is not recommended by AAA. (You know who you are.)

Ice scraper is a must. Lock de-icer is a good idea, but most people I know keep it inside their car. (???) The few times I had trouble opening a frozen car lock, I used a cigarette lighter to heat up the key and then placed it in the lock. Of course, those were the "good old days" when everybody smoked, and we actually had metal keys instead of things that look like mini-phasers from Star Trek. Progress.

In addition to the obvious "slow down" advice, leave extra room between your car and others for extra stopping distance.

And the best advice: when it gets to the point where you need a push broom to get the snow off your car, and boiling water to melt the glacial ice off the windshield, go back inside and make yourself a hot toddy. Or, to quote that immortal sage Ed Norton: "Pack up and move to Florida!"

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