Preparing your car for winter car travel is essential. We travel by car frequently in the winter and these travel safety trips are intended to help keep you safe and make your trip as smooth as possible.
Winter Car Travel Safety Tips
1. Preventative Maintenance for longer trips
Before taking off on a long road trip, take the car into your local mechanic. Have them change the oil, balance and rotate the tires, top off the fluids and check the brakes and hoses. They’ll note any items you need to take care of and you’ll leave feeling more confident about your trip.
2. Prepare for emergencies
I have an emergency kit I keep in the car at all times. It’s easy to put one together, or buy one already prepared. My kit contains:
- Cell Phone and charger
- First-Aid Kit
- Fire Extinguisher
- Warning light, hazard triangle, or flares
- Tire gauge
- Jack and lug wrench
- Spare fuses
- Jumper Cables or a portable battery booster
- Flashlight (check the batteries)
- Gloves, hand cleaner, clean rags
- Road side assistance number
- Disposable flash camera (if you don’t have a mobile phone that takes photos)
- $20 in smalls bills and change
3. Bad weather being forecast? Make sure you have this:
- Windshield scraper
- Blanket and winter hat. (I carry the silver ones that reflect body heat and top with a thermal blanket)
- Hand warmers. (Not just for the ski slopes.)
- Kitty litter. It’s a lifesaver for helping gain traction should you encounter a slick road surface, or your car gets stuck.
- Small folding shovel. Super handy should you have to dig your car out.
- Tire chains and tow strap. Essentials if you’re driving into an area with unpredictable weather, or heavy snow
- Road maps. Old-fashioned, but if you find yourself without reception for your mobile phone, a necessity.
- Non-perishable snacks and water. I prefer keeping granola, nuts, and dried fruit. Clif bars are a good addition as well.