Winter and Your Vehicle

Winter and Your Vehicle

Icy conditions and frigid temperatures require some special precautions when it comes to your car:

  • Never warm up the vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage; warming a car in an attached garage is never safe, even with the garage door open
  • Check the weather before you go and wait out the storm if necessary
  • If you become stranded, never leave your car; light flares and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow or mud
  • Have a mechanic check the condition of your vehicle before heading out
  • On icy roads, don't use cruise control and increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds
  • Keep your gas tank at least half-full
  • Make sure to carry an emergency kit

In an emergency situation, in addition to a full tank of gas and fresh antifreeze, the National Safety Council recommends having these with you at all times:

  • Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Bag of salt or cat litter for better tire traction or to melt snow
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles or flares
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield cleaner
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string or cord
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods like unsalted, canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
  • Blankets, mittens, socks and hats

Winter road trips – even short ones – are a great way to celebrate with family and friends. Being prepared can ensure a safe and happy time is had by all.

Copyright 2024 National Safety Council

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