Driving in the winter presents unique challenges and safety hazards that go far beyond road and weather conditions. It only takes a flat tire, breakdown or being stuck in a snow storm to turn a routine trip into a life-threatening emergency. Preparedness and common sense are two essential tools that can make the difference between life and death. Everyone should make sure they have minimal safety equipment as well as a plan before getting behind the wheel and turning on the ignition during the winter driving season.
1) Have a well-maintained and serviced vehicle
Make sure that vehicles are given a tune-up, batteries are fully functional and spare tires are properly inflated before winter begins. Cars and trucks should always have at least a half-tank of gas at all times, and treating fuel with additives for winter driving is also essential. Anti-freeze, oil and other fluids should be able to withstand cold-weather conditions, and it is a good idea to keep a spare supply in the trunk.
2) Keep An Auto Kit Handy
It is important to make sure that you have minimal safety equipment and supplies stored in your vehicle as well. Make sure that you have jumper cables, proper tire changing equipment, tape and basic tools such as a wrench or a screwdriver. Flares, a reflective warning sign and even a strobe light can help to protect you against a collision as well as let others know your location if you become stranded at night. The SurvivalKit.com auto kit has a lot of the things you will need in an road-side emergency.
3) Protect yourself and others
Blankets, cold weather clothing, food and water, a fully-charged cell phone and full tank of gas can all help you to stay warm and in contact with the outside world if you get stranded. Rescue may be next to impossible during storms, and your car can itself underneath a pile of snow by the time the weather passes. You should always have enough supplies with you to keep you protected for a couple of days if necessary.
If you have a smart-phone, consider turning on your GPS location and make sure that you tell friends and loved ones where you are going and what route you will take.
These simple steps can make a big difference in terms of your health and well-being if you encounter a minor or serious emergency when traveling in the winter. Don’t let a simple stalled engine, flat tire or getting stuck in a snow bank put the life of you or your fellow travelers at risk. Make sure to always have fast and ready access to basic material that can save your life. You can choose to create your own survival kit or purchase one that is designed and stocked for winter driving conditions, but the important thing is that you are prepared and ready to tackle any unexpected crisis that may emerge while you are on the road.