Regardless of how safely you drive, what type of auto insurance you have, or how tame the winter weather is where you reside, the thought of a winter driving accident is always scary. These types of incidents can cause you stress, financial problems and even personal injuries.
Is it possible to avoid winter accidents on the road? Of course – but it is always good to be prepared for whatever the season may throw at you. This brings up another interesting question: what is the best way to be prepared?
Being prepared is often about having the right tool for the situation. And since the winter weather can throw many obstacles at you during a drive, having enough tools and supplies on hand can mean the difference between handling your issue with minimal stress and being caught off-guard by a winter driving accident.
Why Should You Get Prepared?
If you have auto insurance, you may think that any damages you could sustain during a winter accident would be covered. But these types of accidents can cause you a lot more than financial trouble in the conventional sense. They can cause you to be late getting to your destination, or even put you in harm’s way regardless of whether or not another vehicle is involved in the accident.
Creating a winter driving kit with the right supplies prepares you for any emergency. Whether your vehicle is partially buried in the snow during a serious storm that hits without warning or you find yourself stranded due to road conditions worsening in a hurry, having an emergency kit can make the situation a bit easier to manage.
What Should Go into Your Emergency Kit?
A roadside emergency kit is designed to give you the tools and supplies needed when disaster strikes during the winter season. Drivers may find themselves stranded on the side of the highway, and it’s never good to be unprepared when this type of situation occurs. Your auto insurance provider, local safety authorities, or other appropriate parties may be able to provide additional information about what should go into an emergency kit, but the general consensus is that certain items take priority.
Where Should You Store Your Kit?
When making a roadside emergency kit for your car in the winter, you have to use the space you have available. This means if your vehicle will allow for it, place the kit in the trunk or cab. Smaller vehicles will obviously have to utilize smaller kits, so it is a good idea to prioritize and know which items are the most important and could be of the most use in an emergency.
The Basics: Guarding Against the Cold
You may think that the first things that should take priority in your emergency winter kit would be items to combat the snow and ice which could trap you alongside the road. But if the weather has gotten that bad, your best bet may be to have items available that can help you handle the real biggest threat – the cold.
While you should have items on hand to deal with the snow and ice winter brings (if your size constraints will allow for it), items to keep you warm and well-nourished rank at the top of the list. No roadside emergency kit should be without these tools, as they can keep you safe in a dangerous situation.
Additional Clothes, Gloves and Hats
Sometimes when you get stranded due to a winter emergency, you may realize that the cold is much more difficult to handle when you’re stationary. This is why it is a good idea to have extra clothes on hand. A second pair of gloves or an additional hat can be very valuable, especially if you’re outside your car at any point. Even a blanket or two is a good addition to a winter emergency kit.
Keeping Yourself Healthy During an Emergency
Warm clothes can help you stay safe during a winter emergency, but getting stuck by the road can put you in a very tough spot. You may be away from food, water, and any medicines you need for quite some time until the emergency can be resolved. This is why it is a good idea to have these items in your winter emergency kit.
The Tools to Handle the Elements
Whether it’s snow, ice, or a mixture of the two that causes you problems in the winter, you should have the tools in your emergency kit to handle it. Bring along a scraper and a small hand-broom to help clear your windshield. You can also find collapsible shovels which can be great for digging out behind your tires and allowing you to get that bit of traction needed to escape a tough situation.
Another great way to handle the elements is to have help – be sure to bring along road flares, emergency reflectors (these are usually suggested by auto insurance companies), and a cellphone charger that can plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
Don’t Forget the Basics
While it can be easy to brainstorm all the items you’d want to have in your roadside emergency kit for winter, don’t forget the basics. A flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, and other items commonly found in emergency kits for year-round situations can also benefit you in the winter.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Sometimes a bit of road salt can be all you need to make it down that snowy slope safely. Keeping a small container in your emergency kit can come in handy in certain situations. Likewise, you don’t want to flag down help only to find they don’t have a strap to tow you with – store your own if space allows for it.
Preparing for Winter the Right Way
Winter can be a tough time for drivers, but having a winter roadside emergency kit in your car allows you to be prepared for whatever the season could throw at you.