Winter Roads and Driving: Six Important Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of Emergencies - Automobile Planet

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January 24, 2018

Winter Roads and Driving: Six Important Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of Emergencies

Freak winter snowstorms can strike almost anywhere at any time. In fact, over 600,000 motorists each year get stranded in winter weather. Typically, help is only a phone call and a few minutes away. But that’s certainly not always the case.

To prevent hours of discomfort or something much, much worse, we’ve compiled a list of some things that every vehicles should have during the winter months. These items should protect you in the event of an accidental breakdown, such as a dead battery, flat tire, or low fuel. However, if you or a loved one is injured because of events that are beyond your control, such as a defective product or someone else’s negligence, partner with a law firm for personal injury near you.

Wireless Cell Phone Charger

These devices are incredibly handy and only cost a few dollars at most local or online retailers. Most of them charge very quickly when attached to a power outlet and hold that charge almost indefinitely. Be sure and check the charger frequently, at least once a week or so, to see if it needs more juice.

If you never leave the city limits, this charger might be about the only item you need. But many parts of the country are still very rural, and cell phone service is spotty at best. Other more advanced features, like GPS locators, may not work at all, especially in a heavy storm.

Jumper Cables

All wireless cellphone chargers are about the same, as long as they have good charging indicator lights. But the same is not true of jumper cables. A good pair of jumper cables needs to meet the following standards:

       Length: The cables should be at least twelve feet long. Sixteen feet long is even better. Anything longer is probably overkill.
       Connectors/Wires: These parts should be copper. This high-quality material will cost a little extra, but the investment is well worthwhile. Also, be sure the alligator clips are pressed and not soldered, because soldered connections can melt.

If you’re travelling a fair distance and driving alone, it may be a good idea to put your cables in the passenger compartment instead of the trunk.

Flashlight

The choice is basically LED or incandescent. LED flashlights are usually long-lasting and do not rely on bulbs that can burn out; incandescent flashlights are usually a little brighter and cheaper. In an emergency situation, you can’t go wrong with either one.

Fire Extinguisher

Many people forget about this emergency device, but it can be the difference between a burned hose and a burned car. There are different classes of fire extinguishers for different kinds of fires (Class A for wood and other combustibles, Class B for flammable liquids and gases, Class C for electrical fires, and Class D for metal), so be sure you have the right type of fire extinguisher. Many of these devices also require some routine maintenance.

Blanket

There’s almost always room for a thick blanket or quilt. At the very least, it will make the wait for the tow truck much more bearable in bitter cold weather. In the summer, blankets are also good for treating accident shock victims.

Food and Water

As any combat veteran will attest, an MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) is no banquet. But if there is no other food and you have been stranded for several hours, it may taste like one. At least two bottles of water are a good idea as well. There’s no need to pack them in ice.


Honorable mention goes to a first aid kit, the ability to change a flat, and road flares.

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