By- Dr. Joan Marie PellegriniThis is one of the times of year when many of you will be planning a road trip. Unfortunately, this is also a time of year of treacherous driving. Before you begin your trip, please take a moment to assess a few safety issues:ï® Is your car in good condition? Are the tires bald? Bald tires make driving in inclement weather much more dangerous. The economy is hurting most people and one of the things that many people chose to forego is car maintenance. Tires are expensive. However, failure to negotiate the weather and having an accident is even more expensive and can be very dangerous.ï® Do you have safety flares in case of an accident? You should also make sure your hazard lights work. This also happens to be the darkest time of year. If you are stopped on the side of the road, you want to ensure your visibility to other motorists.ï® Do you have warm clothes (hat, mittens, boots, coat) for each passenger. Many people donâ€™t bother with this detail because they will pre-warm their vehicle and donâ€™t plan on walking outside. However, there are many reasons why you may get caught walking. This is particularily important if your are driving in a snow storm.ï® Please remember that black ice is unpredictable and that bridges will ice over even when the road seems clear.ï® Please allow extra space between yourself and the car in front of you so that you may more safety come to a stop.