Winter Driving Tips
Prepare for the Worst this Winter, Just in Case
It wasn’t until my car got stuck in a particularly deep bank of snow one winter that I fully understood why my parents had always told me to keep a bunch of useless stuff in my trunk. Turns out, it’s not that useless.
Whether snow is freshly fallen or the plows have pushed it all to the side of the street, it’s pretty easy to get your car stuck somewhere that you would need help getting it out of. The best way of dealing with that without calling a tow truck is probably a shovel, but how many of you have one of those in your trunk?
The thing is, you really should have a shovel in there; there are collapsible ones that take up less space than a tire iron – which you should also have, but that’s another story for another day – so you don’t have much of an excuse. Those collapsible shovels are available in metal or plastic, and while plastic will do in a pinch, you should get a metal one if you can.
While brute strength and a shovel will get you out of most winter driving troubles, there are a few more things you’ll want to keep in your vehicle each winter, just in case. Salt, sand, and/or kitty litter are all options you should consider, as they can give you much-needed traction in a slick spot as well as melting away particularly stubborn dense patches of snow that have been packed down if you foolishly tried to just power through the area you were stuck in.
You can’t always get yourself out, though, so you should be prepared for the cold as well, whether you wait it out or have to walk somewhere safe. Blankets, hats, gloves, and non-perishable foods such as granola bars help round out an emergency survival kit. You’ll want to keep a cell phone charger there too, and always make sure your phone is charged to full before you leave the house in poor weather.
Remember, if you’re always prepared for the worst, you might feel a bit foolish, but I guarantee you’ll feel far worse if you end up stranded with no way out just because you didn’t pack a winter survival kit.