You never know when your car will break down or when you will become stranded on the side of the road. There is never a good time to get stuck in your car, but it is much more dangerous when it happens in the winter. However, if you prepare and keep certain items in your car at all times, you can prevent a dangerous situation from becoming catastrophic. The following is a list of six winter safety items you should keep in your car:
Image via Flickr by Kai Schreiber
1. Blankets or Sleeping Bags
Imagine being stuck in a snowstorm, on the side of the road, with no help and no way to stay warm. You will be warm for a little while, but eventually you will get very cold. If your car doesn’t start, you will be even colder. So why not protect yourself and keep blankets or sleeping bags in your car?
2. First Aid Kit
Sometimes you break down because your engine dies, or you get a flat tire, but other times it is due to an accident. Not all accidents cause physical harm to the driver or passengers, but it does happen. It is a good idea to always keep a first aid kit in your car. Whether you have a scratch that needs a bandage, or a more serious injury, a first aid kit can help.
Getting stranded in the winter often involves being stuck in the snow. That may mean your wheels are spinning on a small amount of snow, or your wheels are trapped in a foot of snow. Either way, it is quite difficult to dig yourself out of the snow with your hands, so keep a shovel handy.
4. Food and Water
Everyone needs food and water to survive. A human can survive without food for about three weeks, but they can’t go without water for longer than a week. When packing your winter survival kit, be sure to include non-perishable food and water.
5. Extra Clothing
When packing your winter survival kit, you may not think it’s important to pack extra clothes, but this is vital. What happens if you go outside in a storm and get wet? What if you were traveling with fewer clothes on than you would want if you were outside? You will be happy you packed extra clothes so you can change out of wet clothes or add clothes to stay warm.
6. Compass and Road Maps
We live in a world where we depend on electronics to navigate for us. However, if you get stranded in a storm, your devices won’t stay charged indefinitely. Keep a compass in your car and pick up some road maps from your local AAA office. If you decide you need to venture out, you will have your compass and maps to guide you along the way.
There is no way to guarantee you’ll prevent a winter breakdown in your car. However, by keeping these six safety items on hand, you can at least make sure to better protected and care for yourself in the event you do break down.