10 Things You Should Keep In Your Car During The Winter Months
Driving in winter can sometimes be a dangerous undertaking. Because of inclement weather, drivers can experience poor visibility and slippery roads. Basically, if you add snow, ice, high winds, or rain into the mix, you’re looking at more opportunities for accidents to occur. To make sure you’re staying safe out on the road during the colder months, you should come up with a winter car survival kit. Not sure which items you should be stowing in your car? Here’s a list of exactly what to keep in your car during winter.
What should I keep in my car over winter?
There are a lot of items that are good to store in your car the whole year through. But there are also some necessary winter car items that you should make sure you have now, including…
1. Hi-vis jacket
Hi-vis (or high-visibility) jackets are coats covered in reflexive material, typically in bright neon colors. They’re used to ensure you can be seen clearly by other drivers when you step outside your car (even when it’s particularly hard to see). There are some cheap versions on Amazon for around $35.
2. Foldable hi-vis cones
High-visibility cones can be helpful if you’re in an accident or if you break down on the side of the road. You can put these cones around your vehicle so that other drivers can better see your car. Foldable or collapsible ones also make them easy to store in your trunk.
If you don’t have roadside assistance, you should get a jack to put in your car to prepare for getting a flat tire. A jack can help you put on a spare so you can then get yourself to a mechanic or garage.
4. Spare tire
Speaking of flat tires: it’s always a good idea to keep a spare tire in your trunk. You never know when you’re going to have a flat or a blowout, and it can be stressful if you have no way of getting to a garage to replace it. A spare tire can give you some peace of mind that you’ll be protected, even if you don’t have immediate roadside assistance.
5. CB radio
If you live in a more rural area where it’s harder to get cell service, you might want to invest in a CB radio. This type of radio can allow you to call for help if you can’t get a signal on your phone (or if you don’t have a phone). They run around $100, but the price is worth it if you think you might ever need to radio for help in an emergency.
6. Jump-start kit
Dead batteries are the worst – especially if you’re stranded somewhere in bad weather. Invest in a jump-start kit from an auto supply parts store (you can find ones for as low as $40), and you’ll never let a dead battery ruin your day again.
There are several types of blankets you can store in your vehicle as one of those necessary winter car items. You can stash any kind of regular blanket to keep you warm while you’re out driving, or you can snag an emergency thermal blanket for your car. These are made out of mylar and are super durable. They’re also perfect for winter because they’re designed to retain up to 90% of your body heat and to completely block out moisture, rain, and snow in case you’re outside your car waiting for help to arrive.
8. First-aid kit
A first-aid kit is one of the most important must-have safety items in your car over winter. Anytime you’re in an accident you could end up with minor injuries, so it’s necessary to have band-aids and bandages. Some kits also come with burn cream and cold packs in case you’re experiencing swelling from an injury, as well as aspirin if you’re in pain. There are lots of first-aid kits available online or at any big-box store (some good ones cost as low as $16), and by purchasing one, you can ensure you’ll be able to treat a variety of minor injuries while waiting for help to arrive.
9. Charge bank for cellphones
Because we rely on our cellphones so much, it can be scary when they run out of battery (especially when we’re out in bad weather!). Purchasing a portable charge bank can help you guarantee that your phone will always be up and running whenever you truly need it.
10. Extra water and snacks
In some dire situations, you might find that you need water or food to tide you over until you’re rescued. Adding some extra bottles of water and non-perishable snacks (such as trail mix or granola bars) to your trunk can allow you to be more prepared in case of an emergency.
It’s especially important for disabled parking permit holders to be mindful on the roads, since you might have more difficulty getting help in emergency situations. To make sure you’re covering all of your bases, keep your permit from expiring so that your placard is valid the whole year-round. As long as your handicap parking permit is up to date, remember to also follow the rules of the road, and be as prepared as possible for any accidents that might occur. With a vehicle filled with safety items, you should be all set to get through any scary times while you’re waiting for help. Don’t forget to stay safe by staying in your car if possible and calling for help right away!
Featured image by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash