Car emergencies can happen to anyone, especially during the unpredictable winter months. It is better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario rather than not being prepared at all. Make sure your car is packed with these emergency essentials.
Keep the below items in a bag in your trunk. Using a clear, plastic container would be ideal so it’s easy to see and locate everything. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends including:
An ice scraper, small broom and snow shovel
When you park outside in the cold, you risk coming back to a car that’s frosted over with a frustrating layer of snow or ice. Keep an ice scraper with a long handle in your car so you can easily clear off your windows, mirrors, and lights before driving.
Something to give you traction
The added weight in the trunk from bags of kitty litter can help rear-wheel vehicles gain traction on slippery roads. Also, the sand or kitty litter can be poured around your tires if they get stuck in snow, slush, or ice. It will provide that extra grit your tires need to gain traction and get you moving.
Keeping a flashlight in your car year-round is a good idea, but with less daylight during the winter, it can be especially useful. An inexpensive flashlight will not only provide light for those stuck in the car, it can be used to signal others and let them know that you’re in need of assistance.
Keep a pair of jumper cables in your trunk, especially if your battery is more than three years old. If you turn your keys and nothing happens, you can get a jump from a friend, relative, or passing driver. This is important in cold weather because low temperatures can put additional strain on your battery.
First aid kit
Purchase a first aid kit or make your own with some bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, scissors, gauze, medicine and anything else you think you may need.
If you’re stranded, you’ll want to make sure you have a blanket or two in the car to help keep you and your passengers warm until help arrives. If you’re replacing your linens this winter, hang on to your old blankets and put them in your car.
Make sure you have water in your car, either gallons or bottles, especially if you are taking a long trip. This is very important because you don’t want to become dehydrated. Even though it’s cold outside, you can still get dehydrated. Pack more than you think you might need.
Food is another important item to have packed in the car. This can include granola bars or any other snack that is easy to pack and will do the trick if you are stranded.
Essential car fluids
Having an extra quart of oil and a container of ani-freeze could really help you in a time of need. These can be picked up at any automotive store.
Cellphone and charger
Having a cellphone in a time of need is important, but what do you do when the battery is almost dead? Make sure to always have a car charger and a portable charger. If your car won’t turn on, then your car charger won’t work and this is when a portable charger comes in handy because it will charge your phone wherever you are.
Having the necessary items packed in your car will help if a situation arises, but there are measures you can take prior to getting on the road to reduce the risk of a winter car emergency.
Get Your Car Serviced
Visit your mechanic for a tune-up and ask them to check for leaks, badly worn hoses, or other needed parts, repairs, and replacements.
Know Your Car
Read your vehicle’s manual to familiarize yourself with the features on your vehicle — such as antilock brakes and electronic stability control — and how the features perform in winter conditions. When renting a car, become familiar with the vehicle before driving it off the lot.
Plan Your Travel And Route
Before heading out, make sure to check the weather, road conditions and traffic. Don’t rush through your trip, and allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely.
Always familiarize yourself with directions and maps before you go, even if you use a GPS system and let others know your route and anticipated arrival time.
Go Over Your Vehicle Safety Checklist
- Cooling system
- Windshield wipers
- Floor mats
Keeping all these tips in mind while traveling on the roads during the winter months will help keep you, your family and others traveling safe this winter!
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By HealthDay News