1. Sturdy ice scraper and snow brush. This is one of the most crucial things to keep in your car during winter. You know the weatherman isn’t always right, so a small flurry could end up leaving a few inches of snow on your car. Put an ice scraper and snow brush in your car as soon as the cold weather hits. Snow and ice on cars is dangerous because it could obstruct your view or fly off and hit another car. Always clear your ENTIRE car of snow and ice before driving to prevent a crash.
2. Shovel. Buy a small or collapsible shovel to keep in your trunk. It will be useful if your car is stuck in snow or if you have to clear a path to drive.
3. Gloves and other winter clothing. You have the snow brush and shovel, but now you need to actually use them. Wearing gloves and other warm clothing will make the task of clearing your car easier. It also doesn’t hurt to keep a few hand warmers in your car. Always be ready to bundle up to prevent frostbite! You’ll do a better job of clearing your car when you’re warm.
4. Blanket. Have extra blankets lying around your house? Put one in your car. If you get stranded or get into a crash, it’ll get cold fast, especially if your car won’t turn on. You can’t always rely on your car’s heater, so keep warm with a blanket.
5. Emergency flares or reflectors. Snow storms reduce visibility whether it’s daytime or nighttime. Reflectors will help other cars and emergency vehicles see you if you are stopped on the side of the road.
6. Rock salt, sand, or cat litter. These coarse materials will help your tyres gain traction if your vehicle gets stuck in the snow. Spread the material near your tyres and in your car’s path to get out of a slippery situation.
7. First aid kit. A first aid kit is crucial if someone is injured in a car crash. (A legal requirement in a car in the UK). Although it’s essential year-round, this is one of the most important things to keep in your car during winter because emergency vehicle response time may be slow if it’s snowing. Administer basic first aid to the victim until assistance arrives.
8. Extra windshield washer fluid. Make sure your windshield washer fluid has antifreeze components to prevent it from freezing. Clearing your windshield with fluid will improve visibility in a winter storm.
9. Torch. It gets dark early in the winter. If you stall or get stranded at night, use the torch to find out what’s wrong. It can also make you more visible to others on the road.
10. Rope or chain. A tow chain is a great tool to get your car out of snow.
11. Jumper cables. Cold weather can affect a car’s battery. You can’t start your car if the battery’s dead, which means you won’t be able to use the car’s heater for warmth. Waiting for a jump start in the cold is not fun. You won’t have to wait as long if you have jumper cables with you.
12. Small tool kit. You can fix minor vehicle problems with basic tools. Learn how to perform simple maintenance yourself so you don’t have to wait for help.
13. Sunglasses. While sunglasses are more of a summer accessory, the sun’s reflection on snow is bright. Wear sunglasses while driving to reduce glare.
14. Mobile phone charger. Try to keep your phone charged before going out, but always keep a mobile phone charger in your car as well. You will need your phone to call for assistance if you are stuck or involved in a car crash.
15. Water and non-perishable snacks. If you get stranded, you may have to wait for assistance. The wait could be long if road conditions are bad. Storing water and snacks in your car will come in handy in these situations. A snack like a granola bar will really taste good while you’re waiting for help to arrive. And don’t forget about snacks for your children and other possible passengers.
*These are all essential things to keep in your car during winter, but before you even get on the road, make sure you have fuel and good wiper blades. Always keep a half-full tank of fuel in your car during winter months and check that your wiper blades are in working order. You may also want to look into getting winter rated tyres.