You know, it's funny. The older I get, the more respect I have for Consumer Reports. And it seems the older it gets as an organization, the more it's coming out of its shell.

I am trying to avoid a lovefest here but there's a good reason why I appreciate CR. Unlike a lot of the other publications, they're really doing it for YOU, the buyer. PLUS, they're not "in the bag" as it purchases its products for testing independently.

So, as I am watching a couple of inches of snow coat the New York Tri-State region this evening, and I have been receiving calls of dangerous road conditions in addition to piss-poor driving, I wanted to pass along these winter driving tips.

While some seem pretty standard, the reality is folks don't follow them far too often.

1) Clear off snow/ice before driving -- Far too often I find myself getting pelted by chunks of snow/ice at highway speed because a mini-van or sport-utility vehicle driver was too lazy

2) Accelerate slowly to reduce wheel spin -- Some people don't grasp the concept, slow and steady wins the race, at least in the snow

3) Reduce your speed and drive smoothly -- See commentary above

4) Brake earlier than usual -- Even if you're equipped with winter tires, you still need to remember bringing two tons of metal to a stop is a lot of work when conditions are slippery

5) Don't lock your wheels when braking -- Really a concern for those piloting vehicles without anti-lock braking systems (ABS)

6) Perform ONE action at a time while accelerating, braking, turning -- A lesson learned at the track that is critical for anyone driving in the white stuff, especially if your vehicle is front-wheel drive

7) Avoid sudden actions while cornering -- See point two and three, above

8) ALWAYS be ready to correct for a slide

9) Don't let four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive provide you with a false sense of security -- In recent years, folks have picked up their SUV or AWD vehicles and think they're invincible. In reality, if you don't have the right tires and right attitude you'll quickly find yourself in a heap of trouble.

10) Be alert of other motorists
-- Even if you're the best driver in the whole-wide world, you can't account for others careless actions.

Be safe out there, Spies!

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10 Tips For Safe Winter Driving C/O Consumer Reports

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