Hitting the road in winter comes with a set risks. Regardless of whether the roads are clear or icy, drivers still might encounter unique problems. These might include frequent darkness, inclement weather, and reckless drivers.
If you encounter problems on the road this winter, it’s important to have assistance on hand. Police and emergency services can often respond to incidents quickly, but it’s still beneficial to have emergency supplies on hand.
Emergency Preparedness for Your Vehicle
Before you set out on a drive this winter, get your car ready. The better you can prepare your vehicle, the lesser your chances of encountering a problem on the road.
- Check your tires, lights and wipers before you leave home. You don’t want to have one of these critical items fail while you’re on the road. If you notice problems, do not drive again until you can have the damage repaired.
- Take your car to a mechanic for regular maintenance checkups. A mechanic can check your oil, filters, fluid levels and other portions of the car. They might pick up on small damages that could become worse while you drive. They can fix these issues before they cause a problem.
Not only should you protect your car, you should also keep yourself safe in the car. Drivers should carry certain safety items in their car. These might include:
- A small amount of non-perishable food and bottled water. These can be invaluable if you find yourself stranded.
- A travel first-aid kit with standard materials. If you take any prescription medication, keep one or two doses in the car.
- Jumper cables, a tire jack, and a small tool kit. You might be able to change a tire or make small fixes on your own, if needed. This can help your car make it to the mechanic, and help you avoid a hefty towing fee.
- A strong spare tire. You should periodically inspect your spare tire to ensure that it is not flat or damaged. It might surprise you to know that many spares can go flat, even when not in use. Some drivers replace their factory-issue spare tire with a strongly manufactured model.
- A warm jacket, blanket, gloves or a hat. Again, these items might protect you in the event you become stranded. Also consider keeping an emergency flashlight and remote phone charger in the car.
Always keep your proof of auto insurance with you. In the event of trouble, you will want to have quick access to this information.