Driving during the winter can be a lot of fun. You may see exquisite vistas blanketed in snow, and the scenic route can take on an entirely different sort of beauty. However, there are also inherent dangers to driving in the coldest season because winter weather emergencies can sometimes come on without warning. Consider bringing along the following items, just in case.
In the event of a sudden snowstorm, you may need a shovel to ensure that the snow stays away from your car’s tail pipe. Otherwise, if you must keep the car running to work the heater, you and your family may be in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning if snow builds up around the tail pipe. Also, if your car gets stuck in the mud on the side of the road, a shovel may help you escape that sticky, potentially dangerous situation.
A Stay-Warm Kit
You need to be prepared for frigid temperatures. Your car may break down when you least expect it, or you may be forced to deal with staying in a cold car for far longer than you planned. Make sure to include a warm hat, gloves, a scarf, and a change of clothes for each family member in your stay-warm kit. Blankets and a pack of hand warmers are also essentials for the kit.
Food and Beverages
While most people are not stranded in inclement weather for longer than a day, it’s important to be prepared for a worst-case scenario by keeping shelf stable food and beverages in your car. That’s especially true if you have kids or family members with health conditions that require one to eat or drink frequently. Pack dried fruits, snack mixes, energy drinks, and bottles of water. They will likely stay good all through the winter and be easily accessible in an emergency.
Try to keep two or three flashlights in your car at all times during the winter months. In an emergency situation, they can allow you to signal for help. Also, flashlights can help you see on a dark night when streetlights and power outages may be happening in the same area where you find yourself stranded. You can also use flashlights to let other drivers see that a car is parked on the road during low visibility.
When you are driving on wet, slippery roads, you are more likely to have an accident or be forced to pull over to the side of the road. If your car gets stuck, you need gritty materials to help provide traction to get out of the predicament. This can be some everyday items that you already own, such as cat litter, sand, grit, or even cardboard.
Finally, keep in mind that it’s important to have an emergency safety plan for suddenly inclement weather during the winter. In addition to making sure that all these items are in your car during the colder months, you should also ensure that all your family members are aware of an emergency plan to stay safe in all possible situations during cold-weather commutes.