Snow Season Car Emergency Tips


Winter isn’t over yet. Not only do we have more harsh weather to go through, but also preparing your vehicle for next winter starts in the fall. Being stranded in freezing temperatures is scary, but you can give yourself the best chances of being calm and prepared for an emergency by following these tips.

Stocking the Car

Keep the following in your car throughout the entire winter season:

  • Two blankets and a sleeping bag

  • Flashlight or battery-powered lantern

  • Extra set of batteries

  • Jumper cables

  • Extra clothing, including boots, hats and mittens

  • Steel shovel and rope

  • Bottled water

  • Non-perishable snacks

  • First aid kit

  • Traction material such as sand or kitty litter

  • Cell phone and charger

Before You Leave

Before you head out, pay attention to the weather reports and plan extra time in your schedule. Warm the car up and allow it to fully defrost. Snow and ice should be removed from the windows, the top of the car and the tail, brake and head lights. Make sure the gas tank is at least half full. Finally, turn on your headlights if you have to use your wipers. Most states require that motorists turn on their headlights when they are operating their wipers.

If an Emergency Occurs

If you run into an emergency when out on the road, the best advice is to remain with your vehicle. It provides you with shelter and has the necessary supplies in there to keep you safe and protected such as food, water and a first aid kit. Here are additional tips to follow:

  • Tie a bright colored cloth to the vehicle’s antenna, side mirrors or driver door

  • Keep the exhaust pipe free of snow

  • Run the engine and heater no more than 10 minutes every hour

  • When the car is running, leave a window cracked for ventilation

  • Light a flare or turn on your flashlight to let others know you’re stranded

  • Drink bottled water - never snow

  • If you must walk away from the car in a blizzard, attach a cord to the car and yourself

  • Remain calm

In an ideal world, you get from Point A to Point B safely, but this isn’t always the case. Luckily, most drivers carry a cell phone with them and are able to alert family, friends or AAA that they are stranded. Still, it’s important to be prepared and know how to calmly and effectively handle an emergency, as they do happen in the winter and can compromise your safety.
Categories: People