CLEVELAND -- Mother Nature is back in her wintry mood.
But do you know what you're supposed to do if your vehicle starts sliding? What should you do with your headlights in a winter storm? What should you be checking under the hood before braving a snowy drive?
AAA has all those answers and many more suggestions with an in-depth list of tips to keep your commute safe.
Tip 1: When driving on ice or slick streets, DON'T make any quick changes in speed or direction. If your vehicle starts to skid, take your foot off the brake or gas pedal if the skid is a result of hard acceleration or braking. Shift to neutral, and look and steer in the direction that you want to go. Just before your wheels stop skidding, counter steer until you are going the desired direction.
Tip 2: Admit it, you've spotted cars that look as if they have been stuck in a blizzard for months with only a quarter-sized spot clear on the windshield. DON'T be that person. Although it takes some extra effort, make the time to clean the snow off your vehicle before getting behind the wheel. Ice and snow interfere with your vision and can become dangerous projectiles that damage other vehicles and affect the visibility of drivers near your automobile. It only seems obvious, right?
Tip 3: Before making your wintry trek, DON'T forget to check your windshield washer fluid. Make sure to keep the reservoir full at all times -- especially during winter months. And when you're buying a new bottle, be sure the solution is made with antifreeze components. While you're at it, fill up your gas tank, too.
Tip 4: DON'T forget to clean your headlights. That way, other drivers will be able to see you easier.
Tip 5: When is the last time you checked your tires? Tread and traction are key to a safe drive, so DON'T blow off checking them before you leave for work.
TRAFFIC | Current road conditions
Tip 6: Are you a white knuckler in snowy conditions? DON'T be so tense. Be sure to sit at least 10 inches away from your steering wheel so there is plenty of space for emergency steering maneuvers. That will also allow room for the airbag to inflate should that situation arise.
Tip 7: If there's a slow driver in front of you, DON'T ride their bumper. Instead, it's a safer idea to increase your distance from the vehicle in front of you. This way, you can stop with more time.
Tip 8: Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. DON'T leave any of these items behind: An ice scraper, cloth or roll of paper towels, battery starter cables, first-aid kit, non-perishable snacks, drinking water, blanket, gloves, warning devices such as flares or triangles, window washing solvent, flashlight, traction mats, snow brush, snow shovel, tire chains and a small bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or kitty litter for traction.
Tip 9: Here's another obvious one: DON'T drive too fast when weather conditions are less-than-ideal.
Tip 10: Did your phone just buzz? DON'T pick it up. Distracted driving is already bad enough, but it's only amplified in winter weather conditions.
BONUS TIP: Just out of common courtesy, DON'T forget to be safe, calm and kind to everybody else braving the roadways.