6 Items to Include in a Winter Emergency Car Kit

Woman holding a stop sign in the snow with her car behind

If your car breaks down or slides off the road in winter, you may be in an especially dangerous situation. New York winters are often harsh, and frostbite can occur quickly. We have previously covered how to winterize your car and how to put together an all-weather emergency kit, but there are some items you should add to create a winter emergency car kit.

Consider gathering these items, and storing them in the backseat or other accessible area of your car. They will do you little good if they are in the trunk and the lid is frozen shut. Some items you may want to add include:

1. Windshield Scraper and Other Tools

Any time there is snow, it is paramount for your safety — and the safety of others — to clear all the snow and ice off your vehicle. Having an ice scraper with a long handle and a brush makes this process much easier. Clear the front, rear, top, and sides.

You will need to clear the lights, mirrors, and around the windshield wipers, too. Be sure to clear it off completely, since flying snow or ice can lead to visibility issues or damage to other cars. Do not forget to take the tools with you, since it may snow while you are away from home, as well.

2. Extra Windshield Washer Fluid

Snow, salt, and grime can obscure your vision quickly, and it often takes more than one pass of the windshield wipers to clear. While many gas stations offer tools to clean your windshield, it is always a good idea to have plenty of washer fluid on hand when you need to clean the glass. Carry a spare, and you know you will never have to struggle to see through a dirty, dangerous windshield.

3. Extra Warm Clothing

Even if you are planning to go from your warm car to a warm building, it pays to pack warm clothing just in case. Pack a winter coat, extra hat, extra socks, and extra gloves for everyone in the car, and take a long a blanket or two as well.

If something happens and you are stranded on the side of the road, you can bundle up to stay warm until help arrives.

4. Hand Warmers

Small, disposable hand warmers that warm when you shake them can provide warmth for your hands and feet while you wait on help to arrive.

These can be key in preventing frostbite, and they are inexpensive. Just make sure you follow all directions on the package, and do not apply them to bare skin unless the instructions allow it.

5. Ice Melt or Other Traction Aid

In some cases, it is up to you to get your car out of a slick situation. Getting the traction you need to get moving is often difficult, but can be much easier with the right tools. A folding shovel is a good idea, in case you need to clear some snow around your tires.

Some other options that offer extra traction when put in front of your tires include:

  • Ice melt
  • Sand
  • Kitty litter
  • Purpose-made metal cleats
  • Carpet squares

6. A Tow Chain or Rope

Especially when winter weather is bad, emergency help may take a while to arrive. If you have a tow chain or rope, a helpful bystander can quickly and safely pull your stuck vehicle back on the roadway. This is often much faster than waiting on emergency personnel or a wrecker to get to the scene.

Goldstein & Bashner: Long Island Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a winter weather car accident in Long Island, Goldstein & Bashner can help you identify the liable parties, file an insurance claim, and recover the compensation you deserve.

Call us today at 516-874-4362 to schedule an appointment with a Long Island car accident lawyer.

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