Winterize Your Car and Your Driving
Several years ago, the nation was riveted by the plight of a young couple
from Idaho that got stranded in the snow. Their experience serves as a warning
that winter storms can hit suddenly and severely. Keeping safe in the car is a
necessity, since 70% of all winter deaths occur in cars.
However, winter traveling can be safe and event-free if a few simple
precautions are taken. Preparing your car for the winter can be as easy as
adding a few supplies and taking a few necessary steps.
In addition to your Auto 72 Hour Kit, we recommend specials items to store in
the winter including:
- Tire chains in each vehicle.
- Basic tool set including jumper cables, a flat fix, duct tape or electrical
tape, an adjustable crescent wrench, Philips and flat head screwdrivers, and
- Fold up shovel and windshield scraper.
- Tow rope
- Sand or kitty liter to place under tires for traction in the snow.
- Extra gas container.
- Compass and road maps.
- Cell phone for emergencies.Some disconnected cell phones may still be able
to call “911” when charged.
- Extra blankets, clothing(preferably wool, not cotton), shoes and sleeping
- First aid kit with handbook.
- Knife and multipurpose pliers.
During the wintertime it is important to drive safely. The roads and highways
can become dangerous if precautions are not taken in every instance.
Here are some driving tips for staying safe during the wintertime:
- Have a half tank of gas always in your car in case you get stuck or need to
use your heater to stay warm.
- Don't let cold temperatures tempt you into starting your car in a closed
garage. Carbon monoxide can be fatal when breathed in a confined area.
- Slow down on bridges and overpasses, which freeze first. Avoid sudden
changes of speed or direction as you drive over them.
- Look out for other danger zones while driving, like intersections, hills and
curves. Reduce speed and watch for other drivers that may be skidding.
- Keep windows free of snow and ice.
- Keep you speed steady, avoid sudden stops or accelerations.
- Use brakes cautiously. Abrupt stopping can cause brakes to lock up, causing
you to lose control of your steering.
- Practice slow-speed maneuvers in a snow or ice covered parking lot; also
practice hard breaking and steering in skidding situations.
- Read your car's owner manual carefully for information on its equipment and
- Add weight to the bed of a truck to improve traction (they are prone to rear
- If you get stuck in the snow, straighten the wheels and accelerate slowly.
Avoid spinning the tires, and use sand or gravel under the wheels.
- If you get stuck in a storm and help is not visible, don’t leave your car.
Poor visibility and freezing temperatures can be fatal (you can use a rope or
other tether to guide you back to your car if you absolutely must leave for
By taking these types of precautions, you can prevent winter disasters and
keep your family safe and warm on the road.