Winter is here, which also means that the weather forecast in many parts of the country is full of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. There are a lot of things about winter that make it very difficult for drivers in these colder months. AAA estimated that in 2018 about 46% of all crashes involving bad weather took place in the winter and the association estimated it aided 960,000 motorists during the 2018 year-end period.
If you can, try to avoid driving in severe winter conditions. But, if you can’t keep off the roads, you should be prepared and have the appropriate tools in your car in case of an emergency.
Most people keep a windshield scraper in their car to remove ice that may be obstructing the driver’s view, but a small shovel in case you get stuck in an embankment or need to dig a path out for your tires is also a good thing to keep in the trunk. You should also make sure to keep working jumper cables in case your battery dies. Keep a battery-operated flashlight in the cab of your car in case your car breaks down at night.
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but keeping waterproof matches in the car is also a good safety precaution. If you get stranded in your car, the matches can be used to help melt snow for drinking water. It is important to stay hydrated in the winter to help you maintain a stable body temperature. Keeping a bag of kitty litter or road salt in your car will also help if you get stuck in icy conditions. These help tires gain traction and get you moving.
The final tool you should consider in case you get stranded are bright flags or reflective triangles so it is easy to get the attention of rescue workers or other cars passing by. Tools are just one part of being prepare for, and dealing with, getting stranded in your car during the winter.