We live in New England and most winters people are prepared for the onslaught of snow. What happens when you are not? You might not have ever been stuck in your car during a snow storm, but here are some Winter Travel tips to survive if you do find yourself stranded in your vehicle this winter.
Everyone should be careful when driving during the winter season. Cold, snow, and ice are demanding on your vehicle and you. The elements during the winter months dramatically affect how your car is going to handle the road. Extreme weather can be dangerous and life threatening when you get trapped in your vehicle.
Here are some practical tips to survive if you find yourself stuck in your car. Store these items in your car in a plastic bin for safe keeping, but easy to reach in an emergency.
- Shovel that is collapsible
- Windshield scraper or a small broom
- A flashlight the is LED
- Snack food (sports energy bars, chocolate)
- Matches or a lighter
- Extra jackets, hats, mittens, gloves, socks
- First Aid Kit
- Pocket Knife or survival knife
- Blankets or sleeping bag
- Tow chain or heavy-duty tow rope
- Road salt, sand or cat litter
- Jumper cables for dead battery
- Emergency flares
- Cell phone adapter or solar panel to recharge your phone
A little bit of planning goes long ways when you are getting ready for a road trip. Map out ahead of time where you are going and when you should be there. Make a note of places you can stop and be prepared for emergencies.
Before you leave, check the weather along your travel route. Listen to forecasts and road reports and look for storm warnings.
While you are traveling, make sure you make yourself easy to find. Tell someone else when and where you are going to be traveling. Give them a route plan. If your vehicle breaks down in bad weather, make it very visible. Tie something bright and colorful to your antenna or hang from the window of your car. To reduce the wear on your battery only use your hazard lights when you see or hear an approaching vehicle.
In The Emergency
Stay in the vehicle during a storm. Leaving your car can be very dangerous during the winter. You can easily lose your way and get lost in the snow. Your vehicle is the best source of shelter while you wait for help.
If you are not used to a lot of physical exertion shoveling can cause you unanticipated body stress and can cause a heart attack. If you have to shovel to get your car unstuck, go slow and steady and don’t rush.
- Avoid driving while you are tired.
- Vehicle warm-up: Don’t run your car inside your garage.
- Make sure you have winter tires or all-season tires with decent tread.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full during winter months.
- Avoid sudden braking in snowy, icy or any slick conditions.
- Don’t use cruise control while driving on slippery roads.
- Always use your seatbelt during the winter and the rest of the year. Seatbelts save lives!