Winter Is Getting Serious: What to Know if You’re Driving

Photo (cc) by Sergey Galyonkin

Winter is setting in for real — and with the historic bomb cyclone, there are blizzards, ice, high winds, rain and general chaos.

The question is, are you prepared to go out? One thing to consider is to avoid being out on the roads when conditions are hazardous. However, if you feel you need to drive, be sure to check your auto’s emergency kit. If you’re ever stranded, the supplies will at least make you more comfortable and could save your life.

Here are ideas for your car kit from our often snowbound friends at ReadyWisconsin.com.

  • Shovel, snow scraper and small broom
  • Flashlight with extra batteries (make sure batteries are fresh)
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Water
  • Raisins and mini candy bars
  • Extra hats, socks, mittens
  • First aid kit with pocketknife
  • Necessary medications
  • Hand-warming packets
  • Blankets or sleeping bag
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Road salt, sand or cat litter for traction
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares and reflectors
  • Fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
  • Cellphone adapter
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Tire chains

Again, the safest course is to stay off the roads — particularly if you are not accustomed to driving in hazardous conditions. But if you can’t avoid being out, AAA offers safe winter driving tips, including:

  • To avoid the buildup of dangerous fumes, never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have anti-lock brakes or not, the best way to stop is to use threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal, just to the “threshold” of the brakes locking up.

Are you hunkering down in the wake of the bomb cyclone? Share your experiences and ideas in comments below or on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More
10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More

Think you’re a savvy shopper? Find out how retailers persuade you to dig more deeply into your wallet.

12 Reusable Products That Will Save You Money Over and Over
12 Reusable Products That Will Save You Money Over and Over

Buy a reusable version of these household items and you won’t have to spend another dime on them for years.

8 Surprising Facts That Nobody Tells You About Retirement
8 Surprising Facts That Nobody Tells You About Retirement

Knowing what to expect in advance can help you prepare for — and adjust to — life in your golden years.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Comments

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.

Trending Stories