During the winter, the combination of snow, ice, sleet, and slush makes driving much more dangerous than it usually is. That's why it's so important to be prepared for anything! We've come up with a list of everything you should keep in your car this winter should you encounter any unexpected driving incident.
- Blanket - This is extremely important to have handy should your car break down or refuse to start. If you're waiting in freezing temperatures for a tow truck, you'll definitely want to have a blanket with you to keep warm.
- Hand Warmers - These are available at camping stores and are extremely useful if you're stuck outside trying to change a tire or look underneath the hood. You just have to shake them and keep them in your gloves or pockets and they'll release heat to help keep you warm.
- Flashlight - If you're stranded somewhere at night and need to change a tire or look under the hood, it'll be pretty hard to see what you're doing without one of these. It can also be used to signal your location to a pick up truck. Make sure you bring extra batteries as well.
- Cell Phone Charger - Having a car charger for your phone is good to have should your phone start dying if you're stranded and waiting for assistance. You don't want to be unable to communicate with anyone, especially if you're stuck somewhere after dark.
- Kitty Litter - Believe it or not, kitty litter is a great item to have should your car get stuck in snow or ice. It provides traction and can help your vehicle get unstuck, not to mention it's much quicker to do this yourself than to call a tow truck.
- Shovel - Much like kitty litter, a shovel can come in handy if your car is stuck in a large amount of snow.
- Light Sticks - These are inexpensive and can be worn if you need to step outside of your vehicle to fix a spare tire or shovel some snow out of the way. They will help you remain visible to other drivers and avoid a collision.
- Ice Scraper/Brush - This is a no-brainer, unless you want to clean snow and ice off your car with your hands.
- Jumper Cables - Sometimes on cold mornings, if batteries become too cold your car won't start. Not to worry though, getting it up and running is easy enough if you have jumper cables and another driver willing to give your car a jump.
- First Aid Kit - This is good to have on hand should anyone have a minor injury from an accident. Make sure you understand how to use all of the contents of the kit.
- Snacks - If you find yourself stranded somewhere for a long period of time, you'll definitely want to have some snacks with you. Granola bars or items such a beef jerky are good choices because they have a long shelf life and are a good source of energy.
- Tool Kit - Even if you're not a car expert, make sure you know how to change a tire and tighten any loose hoses under the hood. You'll also want to make sure you have all of the necessary tools to do so.
- Flares - These can help motorists find you should you be pulled over in distress.
All of these items can come in handy should you wind up stranded on the side of the road this winter. They will allow you to stay warm, dry, signal for help, or dig your car out should your wheels get stuck. Make sure to have them inside your vehicle this winter, and stay safe!
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