With winter weather comes winter driving conditions!
No one plans to slide off the road, get stuck in a snowbank, or find themselves waiting for a tow truck when the thermometer drops to frigid temperatures.
If it happens to you, you’ll be glad you took the time to be prepared!
Here are 13 things you should always have in your vehicle during the winter months, via MLive.
1. Jumper Cables
Jumper cables are a must. Keep them stashed in your trunk. Even if you don’t need them, chances are someone else who may be stuck will hope you have them.
2. Flashlight With Fresh Batteries
Keep a working flashlight in your glove compartment, center console, or door compartment, along with fresh batteries. Avoid stashing it in the trunk where it may be difficult to find.
3. Phone Charger
Make sure your phone is fully charged before heading out on the road in dicey conditions. Bring a fully charged portable phone charger in case your vehicle loses power and can’t charge your phone.
4. Battery-Powered Radio
If your cell phone fails – the battery dies or there’s no service – a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio are the best choices for back up communication devices.
5. First Aid Kit
It’s smart to have a first aid kit on hand. Keep it stocked with bandages, gauze, pain reliever, disinfectant, scissors and other supplies that could be helpful in an emergency.
6. Roadside Flares
It may seem like overkill, but flares and a reflective triangle can help emergency responders and tow truck drivers see your vehicle at night if it’s on the side of the road.
7. Extra Hat, Mittens & Warm Clothes
If you’re stuck in a cold vehicle for a while or have to walk for help, you’ll likely want a few extra layers. Pack an extra hat, scarf, sweatshirt, mittens, winter boots and socks for each person in the vehicle.
8. Blankets or Sleeping Bag
Sleeping in a vehicle in the winter is not recommended but a blanket – or two or three – or a sleeping bag can add extra warmth while you wait for help.
Keep small, non-parishable, high-calorie snacks on hand – in the glovebox or center console. A Ziploc bag full of granola or protein bars, nuts, dried fruit and crackers would do the trick – candy and chips work too.
Always bring fresh water – don’t leave them in the trunk or backseat, they’ll freeze solid. Disposable plastic water bottles, a jug or a reusable water bottle all work great.
11. Ice Scraper
Every vehicle should be equipped with a handy ice scraper/snow brush – don’t leave it in the garage. And don’t be fooled into thinking that your gloved hand or a credit card will be good enough.
Shovels aren’t just for driveways and porch steps. A small, collapsible shovel could come in clutch if you get stuck in deep snow.
13. Kitty Litter or Sand
Keeping road sand or a container of kitty litter in the trunk can be the difference between continuing on your way and calling a tow truck. Sprinkling either one around your tires can create the traction needed to spring yourself from a jam.