Winter driving – roadside safety kit
Winter driving conditions can be both dangerous and unpredictable, which is why it’s important to be prepared and equip your vehicle with a winter driving survival kit. Should you become stranded, a winter driving survival kit with all the essentials will provide you with both safety and comfort.
15 items that should be in your winter car survival kit
You never know when an emergency will arise. Having the appropriate safety and emergency winter equipment stored in your car ensures you are prepared.
- Ice scraper, snow brush and a small shovel. These three items are essential. The first two will help you clear your car so that you can ensure you can see while driving and the latter will come in handy if your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.
- Sand/salt or other traction aid. Again, handy if you get stuck in the snow or if it’s icy and your vehicle is unable to gain traction.
- Booster cables. If your vehicle’s battery happens to die on a frigid night, you’re going to need a boost. Better to have these on hand, then to hope a helpful neighbour has them.
- Road flares or warning lights. In the event of being stranded on the side of the road, you need to make yourself visible to other drivers. Road flares or warning lights can help prevent a collision.
- A jug of antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. It may be cold out, but if your antifreeze is running low you can find yourself in trouble. Also, during the winter you’ll likely use your wipers more than you might normally and an extra jug of washer fluid will ensure you can see out of your windshield.
- Flashlight and batteries. Keep a good flashlight and an extra set of batteries in the winter car kit in case of a problem when you’re out and about driving at night.
- First aid kit. Make sure it includes a seat belt cutter.
- Small tool kit. You never know when you may need a wrench or screwdriver.
- Extra clothing and footwear. In case the clothes and shoes you’re wearing get wet or damaged. Make sure they’re suitable for the weather outside.
- Blankets. Have enough blankets in the car for yourself and passengers.
- Heat packets. Small packets that heat up automatically without requiring a power source can help to keep hands and feet warm, especially if you can’t start the car for heat.
- Non-perishable foods and water. Remaining hydrated and nourished is crucial. Keeping non-perishable foods in your vehicles such as granola bars, trail mix and a few bottles of water are a good idea.
- An emergency phone battery charger. These special emergency chargers can give you enough power to make a phone call if needed when your battery is dead and you can’t charge it in the car.
- Candle and matches. Keep some emergency candles as well as a box of matches in the car kit as well, for times when electronic sources of light fail. Emergency candles are long burning and can also be used to mark your location. Make sure you’ve got something to hold the candle in too that isn’t flammable and will not get too hot to touch.
- Tow Rope. If your vehicle gets stuck either in a ditch or snow bank, tow rope will help recover your vehicle.