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Kitty litter, a candle and a whistle could help keep you safe during winter driving

Those are a few of the things you may not think of when it comes to an emergency winter weather driving kit
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 10:14 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s been a while since we’ve had to deal with snow on the roads, but there are some simple things you can do to make sure you’re prepared.

Slow down, always buckle up and put down the phone are a few common-sense reminders that are worth repeating. But also be prepared with an emergency winter weather kit in your car.

Have things like blankets, non-perishable food, a flashlight, jumper cables, water, and duct tape, as well as some other things you may not have thought of, such as kitty litter to help with traction if you get stuck, a whistle with a compass on it, and a candle.

The candle is not for light, but for heat. Mike Brown, an automotive learning and development specialist with AAA Northwest Ohio, says you would be surprised how much heat a candle can generate if your car is not running.

Brown also recommends packing a small strobe light, which can help other drivers spot you in the dark.

“Many have a variety of strobes. If you are changing a tire in the dark, you can put one on the side of your vehicle with a magnet that is attached to it. There’s also a clip to attach it to your clothing,” says Brown.

Brown also says to allow at least 8-10 seconds between you and the car in front of you in bad weather. Always clean snow off the hood and roof of your car. If you have to stop quickly, that snow could cover your windshield in a split second, making it impossible to see.

If your car breaks down in cold weather and is not running, Brown says stay inside the vehicle. If you are able to keep it running, make sure the tailpipe is not blocked by any snow.

Slow down or move over for anyone working on the side of the road. According to Brown, at least 60 tow truck drivers are killed every year on American roads.

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