Before winter gets here, drivers should have their brakes and coolant checked, and make sure tires, windshield wipers, defroster, heater, and exhaust system are OK.

It's especially important to check tires for wear and air pressure.

All drivers should have a good snow-and-ice scraper, and extra windshield washing fluid in the car.

Drivers who may face serious winter driving should have the right-size chains in their trunk, along with sand and a shovel.

Other items of value in an emergency include flashlight, gloves, blanket, and flares.

In remote areas, drivers should keep a sleeping bag, an old pair of boots, and warm clothes, including hat, gloves, and an old winter coat, in the car.  

It's always good to practice handling a car in snow, and the best place to practice is an official driving course. Next-best place, and the one most often chosen, is a local parking lot after hours when no other vehicles are around. Practice starting, stopping, turning, and getting out of skids.

Drivers should program the number of the American Automobile Association into their cell phones, if they are members, or the number of a road service company.

They should have updated road maps of the areas they will be driving through.

Getting stuck is always a pain; in winter, it also is dangerous.