Safe in 60: Prepare Your Car For Winter Emergencies

Nov 26, 2018, 7:00 AM | Updated: Dec 3, 2018, 1:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Having your car break down is never fun, but having it break down during the winter months can be life-threatening.

Before you go out on the roads this winter, take stock of what’s inside your car and make sure you’re prepared for a blizzard or winter storm traffic jam.

Cold weather puts a strain on weak batteries. They are more likely to fail at low temperatures. Always carry jumper cables in your car. An emergency battery charger would also be valuable if you are stranded and there isn’t anyone around to help you.

Cellphone batteries also drain more quickly in the cold. It’s a good idea to always have a portable charger so you can reach someone in an emergency.

Here are other items you should consider carrying in your trunk during the winter months:

  • Blankets, extra layers of clothing, gloves and boots, in case you need to walk in the weather.
  • Tire chains and a tow chain or rope.
  • Flares or triangle reflectors.
  • A flashlight and extra batteries.
  • A folding shovel, in case you get stuck and need to dig yourself out.
  • Road salt, sand or even cat litter to help with traction. You can sometimes use a floor mat for this as well.
  • Water and snacks.
  • A first aid kit and basic tool kit.
  • A snow/ice scraper.
  • A multi-tool and a seat belt cutter and window breaker tool.
  • Matches or other fire starter.
  • A canned tire inflator and sealer, if for some reason you are unable to change the tire.
  • A fire extinguisher.
  • An empty gas can.
  • Duct tape and WD-40, because there is always a use for these!

Now is also the time of year to check your car and make sure it’s ready for the winter.

  • Always keep a full tank of gas. You never know when you might find the road closed because of a blizzard or hazard and you don’t want to run out of gas in the cold while you wait for the road to open.
  • Check the levels of all the fluids in your vehicle, especially antifreeze ratios.
  • Test the health of your car battery.
  • Make sure your vehicle defroster and heater are working properly.
  • Check that the spare tire and jack are in good condition.
  • Make sure the manual is in the vehicle for reference.
  • Check your tires for appropriate tread and air pressure. Consider snow tires during the winter months.

This may seem like a lot of things to carry in your vehicle, but most of them don’t take up much room, and could be life-saving. It can also add weight in your trunk which helps with traction during winter driving as well.

You’ll find a more extensive winter preparedness checklist here.

Read more Safe in 60 stories from Lt. Robin Heiden at this link.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Safe in 60

FILE: Goolsby Elementary School third grader Ava Dweck (L), 9, and fourth grader Luca Conrad, 10, t...
Robin Heiden, KSL TV

Safe in 60: Keeping children safe online during new school year

Students are heading back to school across Utah, and it's a good time for parents to talk with their kids about online safety.
1 year ago
(KSL TV)...
Robin Heiden, KSL TV

How To ‘Summer Safely’ On Utah’s Roads

Historically, Memorial Day to Labor Day is considered the deadliest time on Utah roads when fatal crashes nearly double.
1 year ago
Robin Heiden, KSL TV

Five Poisonous Plants To Watch Out For In Utah

Every year around this time, Utah Poison Control sees an uptick in cases in which adults and children are exposed to poisonous plants or mushrooms.
1 year ago
Robin Heiden

How To Pick The Right Helmet For Your Child

Make sure you take time to find a good helmet — they reduce the risk of head injury by 88%.
2 years ago
Robin Heiden, KSL TV

Tips For Drivers, Motorcyclists To Safely Share The Road

Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a traffic collision than occupants in passenger cars.
2 years ago
FILE (Dan Spindle/KSL TV)...
Robin Heiden, KSL TV

5 Steps To Take To Prevent A Car Burglary

Car burglary numbers climbed 12% last year, and these types of crimes are often difficult for police to solve.
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Safe in 60: Prepare Your Car For Winter Emergencies