Jack Frost has arrived, and with him, all those pesky winter automotive annoyances that leave you stuck, shivering in the snow. Before you end up stranded in the winter wonderland, it’s time to compile an emergency car tool kit. This seemingly simple collection could mean the difference between life and death.
What Should Be On Your Car Tool Kit List?
Your emergency car tool kit should include these items, preferably stored in the passenger compartment in case your trunk becomes frozen/jammed…
- Windshield scraper and/or small broom to remove snow and ice.
- Shovel, to help you get back on the road.
- Snow salt, sand, or cat litter for traction.
- Tow chain or rope.
- Jumper cables.
- Emergency flares and reflectors.
- Fluorescent distress flag.
- A whistle, to help you gain attention in emergency.
- Cell phone adapter that plugs into the car cigarette lighter.
- Battery powered radio.
- Matches and small candles.
- Pocket knife.
- First aid kit, and any necessary medications.
- Extra hats, socks, mittens, and winter wear.
- Emergency rain poncho.
- Blankets or sleeping bag.
- A few bottles of water.
- Snack foods that can be eaten hot or cold, like raisins and mini candy bars.
Avoid Emergencies with a Road-Ready Vehicle
Now that you’ve got your gear packed into the car, the goal is not to need it. You can ensure this with a properly maintained, road-ready vehicle that always has a least a half a tank of gas. Make sure battery terminals are clean, and go for a free check at your local automotive store to verify charge. Ensure tire pressure is correct and tread adequate – it’s what’s keeping you on the road. Check all fluids, including brake, oil and antifreeze, being sure to change your summer windshield washer solution to a winter mix. If you are behind on any annual maintenance, don’t put it off any longer. (You won’t be glad you saved that $100 when you’re stuck on the side of the road, alone, in the snow.) When you do takeoff in inclement weather, you can also ensure safety by letting others know when and where you’re going – especially when traveling in rural or sparsely populated areas.
If You Get Stuck
Call 9-1-1 if possible, noting your location and the health conditions of others in the vehicle. Don’t hang up until you identify who you’ve spoken with, and fully understand what should happen next. Follow instructions. (You may be told to stay in the vehicle until help arrives – walking in a storm is dangerous). If you have to vacate, note your intended destination, as well as your name, address and phone number, placing it on your dash for others to see. If you’re stuck, engage your flares/reflectors, and tie your fluorescent distress flag to the antenna. Try to remain as dry as possible – wet clothing loses insulation. Save your battery by using your flashers or turning on your dome light only if you hear approaching vehicles. Be careful running your vehicle for warmth. Snow can plug the exhaust and result in exposure to deadly, odorless carbon monoxide gas. Run your engine for only 10 minutes at a time, checking for blockages and preferably cracking a window.
Ensure a truly happy holiday for everyone in your family. Stay safe on the road this winter season. Put these winter automobile safety tips from your friends at Glass Doctor to use today. For auto glass repair and replacemnt services, contact Glass Doctor.
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