Winter is here and for many that means bitter cold temperatures and snowy, icy road conditions. Snow and ice and can make road travel dangerous, and frigid temperatures can wreck havoc on your car if you are unprepared. Don’t find yourself stuck in an icy situation this winter; keep these 7 items in your car to ensure safe travels.
- Flashlight (and extra batteries): There are many reasons to keep a flashlight in your car at all times, but it is particularly important during winter. Daylight hours are much shorter during the winter, so the chances of being stranded in the dark are greater. A flashlight can be useful in situations where you have to change a tire in dark, attach jumper cables, or even signal passersby that you need assistance.
- Bag of Sand: Snow and ice make for treacherous traveling conditions. It is not uncommon to get stuck in a rut in the snow or on a patch of ice. If you find yourself stuck, a bag of sand can often be the most useful tool to have. Spreading sand under and around your tires can give you the necessary grip to get out of an icy situation.
- Jumper Cables: A dead battery is not an uncommon occurrence in cold temperatures and can happen with little or no warning. It can be quite frustrating to get back to your car to find that it will not start. Most people are willing to help with a jump, but not everyone is prepared. Keep a set of jumper cables in your car so you will be prepared when you need help, and you will be prepared to lend a helping hand yourself.
- First Aid Kit: You should have a First Aid kit in your car at all times, but Winter is great time to consider getting one if you haven’t already. Performing even minor roadside repairs can result in minor bumps and scrapes, so having a First Aid kit available is very important.
- Ice Scraper: Bad weather can strike quickly, and before you know it your car is covered in snow. Driving with your view obstructed by snow and ice is very dangerous. Always keep an ice scraper in your car and completely clear all your windows before for you begin driving.
- Blanket: Hopefully you will never find yourself in a situation where you are completely stranded. But, if your car won’t start and you have nowhere warm to go, you will need a way to keep warm while you wait for help. Keep a spare blanket in your car for these situations. If you have children, consider keeping multiple blankets in the car.
- Road Flares: If you do find yourself stranded on the side of the road, it’s important to warn others on the road of your presence (for your safety and theirs). Visibility can be greatly reduced during heavy snowfall, and other drivers may not be able to see your car as they approach. Bright road flares will alert others to proceed with caution.
Thanks to Fletcher Chrysler for helping out with this post.