Winter has arrived in full force. And with winter comes the adrenaline pumping, white-knuckled driving through snowfall, snowstorms, or the calm days between. From driving across town to the long trips that were planned months ahead, weather can change in an instant. No matter the destination or length of time it will take to reach that destination, every winter driver needs to be prepared should something go wrong. Cold weather, snow, and ice are demanding on vehicles, drivers, and passengers alike. The cold weather can affect metal, rubber, and car materials, thicken vehicle lubricants, and can reduce a vehicle battery’s effectiveness. But most importantly, extreme winter weather can threaten you and your passenger’s lives. With winter upon us, drivers need to evaluate what’s in their vehicle and if it’s enough for those emergency situations.
First, prepare your vehicle to be in good driving condition for winter. Make sure your tires are in good condition for winter. Check all fluids in the vehicle. You should always have essential winter items such as a blanket, clothes, gloves, and hats for you and anyone that frequents your vehicle. Though you likely have a cell phone on your person, make sure it is always charged—this could be the difference between getting help fast of not getting help at all. Store water and non-perishable snacks such as beef jerky, protein bars, and nuts in your vehicle. And finally, make sure you have a winter emergency kit stowed somewhere that is accessible in case you get stranded. Most of our readers are likely prepared with these essentials, but this is great information to share to ensure everyone in your life is safe.
10 AutoBodyNow.com items to keep in your vehicle winter emergency kit:
- First aid kit. Should include Band-Aids, adhesive tapes, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, antiseptic cream or ointment.
- Jumper cables. Jumper cables should be at least 10 feet and coated with at least 8-gauge rubber.
- Mini jump starter. The Antigravity Battery Mini Jump Starter will jump start a vehicle, charge cell phones and other electronic devices, and has a built-in flashlight with S.O.S. patterns.
- Work Gloves. NorthFlex Cold Grip Gloves protect from the cold without giving up dexterity and NorthFlex Abrasion Resistance Gloves absorb vibrations and resist abrasions. If you need to check the engine or tire, these gloves will help keep your hands warm and protected.
- Tow rope.
- Rescue Tool. This compact, multi-function tool can be used to break car windows, as a prybar and spanner wrench, and includes sheers that can cut through most materials.
- Pocket knife or utility knife. Can be used to cut seat belts, to assist in cutting fabric for tourniquets, and more.
- Snow Brum. This awesome broom will get any and all snow off your vehicle quickly.
- Duct tape. The universal fit-it tool, duct tape can come in handy in a variety of situations.
- Optional: Tire compressor.
This list is a great starting point for any vehicle winter emergency kit. You also need to grab household items, such as litter, rock salt, matches or a lighter. Remember, there are a multitude of additional items that can be added to individualize the kit to your personal needs. If you have your dog with you often, make sure to account for that. If you have kids, make sure that your vehicle emergency kit is prepared for any and all passengers. Keep safe this winter and holiday season. With holiday travels, be prepared for any and all weather. Drive safe!
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