It's that time of year again when the weather starts getting colder and we have to start thinking about the "W" word. That's right... winter. You may not think you have to consider winter driving emergencies just yet, but lets be honest, we're in Michigan and that means we could get an ice or snow storm any day. Take some time to stock up your winter car emergency kit now before you end up in a situation without it!
An Ice Scraper
Most Michigan drivers already have an ice scraper in their car, but it's worth mentioning in this list. Sometimes our windshield wipers just can't stand up against built up ice and we need something a little more power behind it.
Non-clumping cat litter is a great tool to help gain traction in the snow or on ice. Unlike road salt, kitty litter absorbs all the moisture around the tire and makes the surface more dry. To use, pour the cat litter in front of your tires as close to the tires as you can, then drive forward. You can also use sand if you do not have any kitty litter on hand!
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an essential item to keep in your car. You never know what may happen, and having the right supplies on hand can make all the difference.
Here are a few things to include:
- Bandages of varying sizes
- Antiseptic wipes or ointment
- Pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (aka Tylenol)
A flashlight is an essential item for a winter car emergency kit. A flashlight can help you see what you are doing in the dark, and it can signal for help if necessary. It is important to have a flashlight that is durable and waterproof, so it will be useful during all seasons and weather conditions.
Matches and a Candle or Two
Matches and a candle or two (in a small metal container) are a good backup to an emergency lighter. They also have the added benefit of being able to be used as an alternative source of heat and light if you can't start your car and you need to wait for a tow or roadside assistance.
Don't settle for the cheap ones—the last thing you want is to be stranded with unreliable jumper cables. They could be too short or too weak, and they won't do much good if they aren't in good condition. A good set of heavy-duty cables will last longer and give you peace of mind.
Reflective triangles are an important asset in your car's safety kit. They increase visibility, making it easier for other drivers to see your vehicle and avoid collisions.
A Blanket or Two
A blanket can help keep you warm and comfortable during a winter vehicle emergency while you wait for roadside assistance.
A good rule of thumb is to choose foods that are high in energy and don't need to be heated or refrigerated, like nuts and granola bars. While you're at it, some water would be a good idea, too.
When it comes to winter car emergencies, a snow shovel is one of the best tools you could have on hand. You can use it to dig out your car if you break down in the snow or clear off your tail lights and head lights so other drivers and roadside assistance personnel can find you.
When preparing for any type of emergency situation, it's important to think about what could go wrong and then work backwards from there. If your car breaks down and gets stuck on the side of a busy highway when it's -10°F outside (like it does here in Michigan), how will you get help? The best thing to do is call us at 855-MICHTOW right away from inside your vehicle. Speaking of calling, an extra cellphone charger cord would be a good addition to your emergency kit!
Hopefully this list has given you a few ideas for what to include in your own car emergency kit. Remember, the most important thing is your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Give us a call day or night, we offer 24/7 emergency roadside assistance and towing services to Mid-Michigan, Southeast Michigan, the Thumb!