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winter driving checklist

Being unprepared for winter driving can prove deadly. By thinking ahead, you can avoid trouble if you are stuck on the road for an extended period of time.

It is never a good idea to depend on a cell phone or a passing motorist to come along. Prepare for the worst and you will have peace of mind knowing if an emergency happens while in your vehicle that you are prepared.

If you are ready to get prepared for driving in winter, here is a great checklist.

Get Discovered

A snowstorm can quickly send a sliding vehicle careening off the side of the road. When buried in a ditch, you may be out of sight.

Draw attention to yourself by keeping flares in your vehicle that can be set up as close to traffic as you can get.

Staying Warm

Your car may be stalled and the heater rendered inoperable. Cold, frigid temperatures can bring on frostbite or hypothermia in a matter of minutes.

Keep a dry wool blanket in a waterproof zip lock plastic bag for such occasions.


Make sure you have a spare set of clothes for everyone who normally rides in your vehicle.

Dig Out

Sometimes the most practical items are forgotten. Being able to dig your way to safety or making a wind barrier can prove helpful when waiting for help.

This fold-up shovel will store easily in your vehicle.

Non-Clumping Cat Litter

If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow or on ice, sometimes you need a little extra grip to stop your car from sliding around and get moving.

This where cat litter comes in.  You can sprinkle some on the ground around where your tires will be moving into or where they keep sliding into to allow them to get the needed grip.

Ice Scraper

Your ice scraper will come in handy even if you aren’t stuck.

You can use it to scrape the ice and snow off your windows, making it so you can see.

Water and Food

Dehydration is deadly, especially in the cold. Carry a fresh supply of water in a large thermos or a pack of water bottles and an assortment of dried food in case of an emergency.


A flashlight will let you access the situation when left in the dark.

Be sure to have a backup light source that will not let you down should the batteries in your flashlight fail.

Rescue Tool

Taking a plunge in a river has taken many lives. By having a rescue tool that is a seat belt cutter and glass breaker within reach will keep you prepared for an escape.

First Aid Kit

Having an accident in the winter can leave you with traumatic bleeding or deep cuts.

These injuries must be tended to immediately and by having a First-Aid Kit on hand, you will have a better chance of survival.

Fire Extinguisher

A fire may seem unnecessary when blowing snow and cold is present.

However, your engine can still catch on fire with a ruptured gas tank. A fire extinguisher may be the only way to extinguish flames.

Jumper Cables and Toolkit

Be prepared in case someone comes along and offers assistance. Without the necessary tools such as jumper cables and a toolkit, they may not be able to help.

Tire Chains

Last, but certainly not least are tire chains.

Make sure your chains are the correct size for your tires and that you know how to put them on.  If you don’t know how to put the chains on your tires, they won’t be much use to you.

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