Preparing for Winter Driving and Winter Emergencies

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Preparing for winter driving is an absolute must. Here in Vermont, winter driving means ice, snow, and dangerous roads. I always make sure to have supplies in the car in case we’re stranded somewhere or in an accident during winter weather. It may never happen but it’s always good to be prepared.

Preparing for Winter Driving and Winter Emergencies

Preparing for Winter Driving

Just a few winter driving facts you may not be aware of. Over 70,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall annually in the United States. Roads are more dangerous the first day after a snowstorm than any other day.  About 68% of drivers think it’s important to prepare for winter driving but only 48% actually do.

Preparing for winter driving means keeping your car in good condition and keeping supplies on hand in case you are in an accident. No one plans to have an accident but they do happen. If that happens, you want to be prepared with a few basic supplies. So, the time to prepare is now (or in July) before you have the accident not after.

Preparing for Winter Driving

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How do you stay safe in the winter?

Of course. the best way to stay safe is to stay at home unless you absolutely have to go out. While you may not be able to get the day off from work, you can probably put off a trip to the store or the mall to go shopping.  Go only where you need to when the weather is at its worst.

Preparing for Winter Driving

Is it dangerous to drive in snow?

Driving in the snow is more dangerous than driving in good weather. But, if your car has a good pair of all season or snow tires and you’re careful, you’ll have fewer problems. Make sure that you bring your car to the shop for winter tires, new windshield wiper blades, fluid top offs and a brake check. All of these things will help make winter driving easier. Depending on how much snow you get, you may want to invest in snow chains.

Preparing for Winter Driving

It’s also important to prepare your car before you leave. That means that you should take the time to remove the snow and ice from your windows, your lights, and the top of your car. There’s nothing more dangerous than having a sheet of snow and ice fly off the car in front of you while you’re driving behind them.

Preparing for Winter Driving

What should I keep in my car for winter emergencies?

A few suggestions if you’re in the colder climates include blankets or thermal blankets, fire starting equipment (matches, lighter, maybe some dry tinder, magnifying glass, etc.) and extras of things like antifreeze and the non-freeze windshield solution. Don’t forget road flares or warning markers to mark off your car if you are in an accident.

Preparing for Winter Driving

It’s also a great idea to keep a few extra high energy snacks for you and the kids like trail mix or granola bars. You should also bring along a few jugs of water for yourself and the car. It can’t hurt to have an electrolyte solution on hand for the kids too.

It goes without saying that you should have a fully stocked first aid kit with medicine and supplies for both you and the kids. Make sure to check expiration dates regularly to make sure it stays good.

We also have a small solar light, a flashlight, and extra batteries. A wind-up radio is great too if you have room. It’s always a great idea to have a few handy tools in your toolbox including anything you may need to do minor repairs to the car. Can you change a tire? Do you have a survival knife or tactical knife in your toolbox just in case?  If you don’t feel confident enough to use those, consider something like a pocket knife.

Preparing for Winter Driving and Winter Emergencies

By following a few of these simple tips, preparing for winter driving will take only a few minutes at the start of the season. If you have more than one car in your household, be sure that you prepare each vehicle. Don’t forget to prepare the children’s cars if you have teen drivers. And, be sure that they know what to do in case of an emergency.

Do you have any winter driving tips I’ve forgotten? Check out these storm preparedness tips you should know.

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2 thoughts on “Preparing for Winter Driving and Winter Emergencies”

  1. I've heard of so many people who were hit by other freeway cars when they got out of their disabled car so I keep emergency things under the seats. I have one of those emergency triangles you can put on your window but I live in a huge city, with (too many) distracted drivers. This is a great post for me to remember when I visit the family in the snowy Midwest. The wind-up radio is on my prepper wish list--a good item to have as backup in any emergency situation.

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