Drivers in certain parts of the country must deal with dangerous driving conditions for a significant part of every year. From the Upper Midwest to the North Atlantic states, winter driving can present numerous hazards including sleet, snow, ice, swirling winds and whiteout conditions. Drivers are encouraged to keep an emergency kit in their vehicles in case they become injured or stranded.
While an emergency kit can differ based on where you live, the types of roads you traverse and the type of vehicle you’re using, there are some common items that must be included:
- Ice scraper and brush
- Road flares or reflective warning signs
- Bottled water and non-perishable food
- A first aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Extra winter gear such as gloves, scarves, hat and coat
Additionally, if you are likely to face frigid weather or a “polar vortex,” there are other items you might want to include, such as:
- A bag of sand or cat litter that can be used to increase traction around tires
- A collapsible or folding shovel that can be used to dig the vehicle out of a snow drift
- Tire chains and a tow strap if the vehicle gets stuck
- Extra layers for warmth including coats, boots and blankets
- Chemical hand and foot-warmers
If you are in an accident in the winter months, you might have to wait for emergency vehicles to arrive. It is crucial that you have an emergency kit in your vehicle to prevent further injuries. Additionally, accidents caused on poorly maintained roads or those caused by snowplows can result in a vehicle stall in frigid temperatures. It is crucial to protect yourself and vehicle occupants.