Ah, another Minnesota winter: that oh-so-wonderful time of year when the roads are caked in a glorious combination of slush and melting salt, and driving two miles down the road is a much more daunting task than it should be.
Ice, snow, and poor visibility can all contribute to car accidents during the winter. Getting stuck in a ditch during a snowstorm or breaking down when it’s below zero isn’t something we like to think about, but it’s something we can prepare for by building a winter car kit. Whether you’re restocking a pre-bought kit or building your own from scratch, here are the essentials you should include to keep you safe and warm until help arrives.
For You and Your Passengers
- Extra mittens, socks, and hats, both to layer for warmth and act as replacements if other pairs get wet
- A first aid kit to treat injuries from a crash
- Bottled water and nonperishable snacks, like unsalted nuts, beef jerky, dried fruit, or protein bars
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- A reflective jacket or vest to wear when performing repairs on your vehicle
- A cellphone car charger to ensure you can call for help
For Your Car
- An ice scraper with a snow brush to keep your windows clear
- A snow shovel, preferably collapsible to save space
- Jumper cables
- A basic car tool kit in case the problem is small enough you can repair it yourself
- Tire chains for better traction
- Kitty litter or sand to provide grip on ice
- A pocket knife or multitool
For Getting Help
- Road flares to signal emergency responders or other people on the road
- A colored or reflective banner to hang from your antenna
- A whistle
- Rope to guide you back to your car if you have to leave the vehicle in a snowstorm
- A pen and paper for recording accident information or additional numbers provided by a tow truck dispatcher
Preparation is the best tool for driving during Minnesota winters. Pay attention to the forecast, and plan your trips around potential storms. Always make sure your windshield and windows are frost-free before you start driving, don’t let your gas tank drop below half-full, and keep your car well-maintained to avoid unnecessary breakdowns.
Questions about winter car maintenance? Advanced Repair offers a wide variety of services to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape for the long winter. Call today at (320)-253-6295 or request an appointment online.