Top 10 Things to Keep in Your Vehicle During the Winter Season
It seems we tend to over-prepare for winter storm predictions that never amount to anything and downplay the ones that end up wreaking havoc. The best thing we can do is be prepared in advance of any inclement weather prediction. A good rule of thumb is to use Halloween as a reminder date. On this date, review your checklist to ensure you have each of these crucial items for staying safe in frigid weather. Fifteen minutes of prep can save you a great deal of agony in the event of a breakdown due to malfunction, road conditions, or the misfortune of being in an accident.
In addition to assembling your winter driving safety kit, make certain you’ve inspected the condition of your vehicle’s windshield wipers, battery, and tires. A trip to your neighborhood Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers is always recommended. Safety First!
Top 10 Items Your Winter Driving Safety Kit should include:
Ice Scraper with a Snow Brush.
This is the most important tool to have in your winter driving safety kit. Even with the most sophisticated technology, the meteorologist isn’t always right, and a forecast of little to no accumulation could end up leaving several inches of snow on your vehicle. It’s always best to clear your entire vehicle of all snow and ice before driving to prevent a potential accident. This is a must for windows, mirrors, headlights, and taillights. (picture of a snow scraper with a brush)
Gloves, Scarves, Hats and a Blanket.
If you ever have to use your ice scraper and brush, you should always protect yourself from the elements. It will make the task of clearing your vehicle much less daunting. If it’s extremely frigid, it will help prevent frostbite. In the event of a breakdown, it can get cold quickly and having extra ways to stay warm will be important.
Rock Salt, Kitty Litter or a Bag of Sand.
If your tire treads are wearing or your vehicle is rear-wheel drive, these coarse materials will help your tires gain traction if your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.
Windshield Washer Fluid.
Be sure that the windshield washer fluid is topped off and has antifreeze ingredients. There are few things more dangerous than driving with a dirty windshield and not being able to clear it for visibility can be frightening.
Jumper Cables. Waiting for a jump start in the cold is never an ideal situation.
When the temperature drops, batteries become vulnerable. Carrying a set of jumper cables in your trunk (and knowing how to use them) will help get you safely on your way to a neighborhood Dobbs Tire and Auto Center for a battery check in no time.
Cell Phone Charger.
Make sure your phone is charged prior to venturing out, especially if you will be on the road for longer than 30 minutes. At the very least, be certain to have an extra charger in your glove box or console and make others aware of your route and destination. If your vehicle breaks down, you will need your phone to call for assistance.
If you stall or get stranded after dark, you will need a flashlight to investigate the situation or make yourself more visible to others traveling on the road. Flashlights come in all sizes and even small ones can pack a ton of brightness. Test them frequently and carry extra batteries, just in case.
Water and Non-Perishable Snacks.
If your vehicle breaks down and you and your passengers have to wait for assistance, that wait could be long if road conditions are bad. Items like bottled water, granola or energy bars, single serve nuts, etc…, will come in handy while you’re waiting if stomachs start to growl.
Emergency Flares or Reflectors.
Inclement weather along with high winds could reduce visibility at any time of day. Reflectors and/or flares will help other motorists and emergency vehicles see you if you are stopped on the edge of the road.
First Aid Kit.
Keep the essentials in this kit, including spare medications if you need them.