It’s always important to be prepared before hitting the road. Driving in the winter comes with a few more risks than other seasons — the main ones being snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures.
Having a properly maintained vehicle and being equipped to deal with a potential problem are the best ways to ensure you arrive at your destination safely. Darryl Croft, automotive expert at OK Tire, suggests a few things to have in your vehicle that can be helpful in a winter emergency:
- Blankets, hats, gloves and socks. When waiting for a tow-truck or emergency vehicle in freezing temperatures, it’s important to stay warm. The best ways to do so are by keeping your head, hands and feet covered.
- It’s always a good idea to keep a small amount of money stored in your glove box in case of emergency, even if it’s just $20. Sometimes places won’t accept credit cards or debit.
- Granola bars. What’s worse than having your car break down? Dealing with it on an empty stomach. You never know how long it is going to take before help arrives. It will make the wait much easier if you have some snacks handy.
- Booster cables. Always keep these in your trunk year-round, not just in the winter. They will be extremely helpful if your battery dies and you need a boost.
- The last thing you want is to be stranded when it’s dark. Sure, cellphones have flashlights, but they are not the brightest and tend to kill your phone battery, which you’ll want to conserve.
- Fluorescent flag. Should you end up stranded in darkness, a fluorescent flag will ensure your vehicle is visible to other drivers. If you need to walk anywhere, the flag wrapped around your arm will make sure you can be seen.
- First aid kit. If someone gets hurt while on the road, having a first aid kit handy can help deal with minor injuries.
Always make sure your gas tank is at least half full at all times. This gives some leeway if you get lost and end up driving around aimlessly. Also, making the switch from all-season to winter tires is highly recommended.