Two weeks ago at this time I was sitting on a beach at Beaches Negril in Jamaica soaking up the sun with a delicious drink in my hand. Today…
I’m slipping on my boots then picking up my winter coat at the dry cleaner. It is only a matter of time before I have to trudge through the snow. As much as I hate driving in inclement weather, sometimes traveling during the winter months is unavoidable. If you live in areas prone to unfriendly winter weather or will be passing through such areas during holiday travels, it is important to be prepared. Stocking the vehicle in the event you experience car problems, are involved in an accident or find that a turn in the weather requires you to pull over is critical.
Plan accordingly by using these tips to prepare your vehicle and create a winter vehicle emergency kit!
First and foremost, equip your vehicle with winter tires! They handle better than all-season tires and can make a difference when you hit a bad patch in the road.
Whether you keep a duffel bag at home that you throw in the car when you leave or simply store these in a bin in your trunk, they are items that can help.
- A shovel. Even if it’s just a small emergency shovel, it’s better than nothing.
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Emergency radio.
- Snack food including energy bars, raisins, mini candy bars.
- Matches and small candles
- Blankets or a sleeping bag
- First aid kit including a multi-purpose tool or pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt, sand or cat litter for traction
- Booster / Jumper cables
- Emergency flares and reflectors
- Fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
- Cell phone charging cables and portable battery
Most important, pack a sense of reason. If it’s too dangerous to drive, don’t! But if you have to travel in the winter, don’t let fashion get the best of you. Either wear boots or pack them along with extra hats, socks and mittens. You may find yourself needing to scrape windows or shovel your car out when you’re leaving work, a store or restaurant so you’ll want to make sure you can do so without getting frostbite.
Stay safe during your winter driving by preparing it with winter tires, completing the necessary maintenance and service and assembling the necessary preparedness kit.
How do you prepare your vehicle for winter driving?