Prepare for winter driving before you need it. Winter driving can quickly turn dangerous, so plan today. Learn what should do for a worry-free winter.
Prepping for every day life is often times overlooked but is the first place everyone should start.
One common situation that happens to many is getting stranded in your car in the winter. Getting stranded on the highway is a nightmare for many — especially parents who know their children could be traveling.
Getting stranded in the winter, or on a road with little traffic, or after SHTF, can be life threateningly serious. Prepare yourself and your family for winter driving by knowing what to do if an emergency happens while you or a loved one is behind the wheel.
Remembering these simple tips can be the difference between life and death.
Make Sure Your Care Is Ready For Winter Driving
Winter driving isn’t easy on the driver, but it’s pretty tough on the car, too. If you are traveling during winter, check off all the items on your vehicle maintenance list before hitting the highway.
- Check tire pressure and use snow tires if you have them
- Check fluids: oil, wipers, antifreeze and coolant
- Check the brakes
- Test the battery, belts, and hoses
Keep in mind that winter climates require different oil weights, so if you live in the south and plan to head north, talk with your mechanic about the best oil weight before the trip.
First Things First
If you do find yourself stranded, first turn off your car. It may seem counter-intuitive because it’s how you are staying warm, but the carbon monoxide it’s releasing could kill you if the pipe becomes blocked by snow or ice. Instead of keeping your car running, turn it on every hour for 10 minutes at a time.
If You Get Stuck
Keep sand or cat litter in the car at all times — it will weigh down your car (providing a little more traction) and offer a solution if you get stuck in the snow.
If you lose traction and end up on the side of the road, pull out the kitty litter. Remove as much snow as you safely can, then put sand or litter as close to the tires as possible. It may help you pull out of the snow bank or slush. Once back in the car, be sure to move your body at regular intervals to keep the blood flowing. Make sure your hazard lights are on and wait for help.
When you see another car stranded, resist the temptation to pull over and help — it will likely mean two cars are stuck instead of one. Call 911 and tell them the location of the vehicle. Police and tow trucks are much better equipped to help those who are stuck in ice and snow.
For more tips about how to prepare for winter driving, check out the graphic below.
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