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Put These 8 Safety Items in Your Car This Winter

From left to right: traction boards, a first aid kit, and emergency lights.
Orcish/Swiss Safe/Hokena

When it comes to winter driving, you need more in your vehicle than just a brush and ice scraper combo. If you get stuck in a snowstorm, you want to be able to help yourself or get the help you need quickly.

A Collapsible Snow Shovel

You never know when you’ll need to shovel yourself out, but you also don’t want a shovel that takes up too much space in your car. A collapsible shovel, like this one from Redcamp, will get the job done and still leave enough room for your groceries.

It extends from 21 to 32 inches and is lightweight, so you won’t have to worry about hauling around a heavy shovel.

Grippy Tire Traction Mats

Vehicle using traction mats to get through snow.

Whether you find yourself in a shallow ditch or stuck in a parking lot, a set of traction mats can help you get unstuck without having to call a tow truck. They’re easy to use and also won’t take up much space in your trunk.

This set from Orcish will stand up to your SUV, but they work for smaller cars, as well. You can also choose from a variety of colors.

A Bag of Sand

Pass on the kitty litter—it tends to get slick in slushy conditions. Opt for a bag of sand instead—you might not even have to drag out the traction mats!

Dumping some sand on an icy patch behind your tires can add just enough traction to get you moving again. A heavy bag of it in your car also adds some weight that will prevent you from sliding around as much on icy roads.

Magnetic Emergency Flashers

Person putting out emergency lights around their car.

If you get stuck in the middle of a snowstorm or late at night, magnetic emergency flashers really come in handy. Not only do they increase your visibility, but they also help prevent you from running down your battery if you have to leave your vehicle overnight.

This emergency light kit from Hokena includes many extras that will help protect you in the winter, and the rest of the year, as well. It includes a seatbelt cutter and emergency blankets, and it all comes stored in a convenient case.

Some Extra Winter Clothing

You’re definitely going to want some warm gear if you have to dig out your car. It’ll help you stay dry so you won’t get hypothermia. A change of regular clothes can come in handy, too.

However, you should definitely keep an extra scarf, gloves, hat, and maybe even a jacket and some snow pants in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Snow pants will keep your legs dry while you’re digging out your car. You slide them on right over your pants, and then remove them before you get back in the car. They’re the one thing you might not already be wearing when you hit the road.

Hand Warmers

Hand warmers help you stay warm if you get stuck in the snow and can’t leave the car running the whole time. They’ll also warm up your hands again after you dig yourself out of the snow. Toss some in your boots, pockets, and gloves before you even get out of the car and venture into the snow.

Emergency Blankets

Whether you have spare clothing and warm gear in your vehicle or not, emergency blankets are also a good thing to have. They’re sometimes available in multipacks, like this set from Swiss Safe. These also really come in handy if others are with you when you get stuck.

Along with hand warmers, these will really come in handy if you’re stuck waiting for a tow truck and can’t run your car the whole time.

Roadside Emergency Kit

Items from an emergency car kit.
Swiss Safe Store

You should always keep an emergency kit in your car. This one from Swiss Safe includes jumper cables, work gloves, emergency lights, and more. It’s an excellent backup kit to have if you’re ever stuck out in the ice or snow.

This 348-piece kit also includes a rain poncho, tools, a safety vest, and a handy first aid kit.

Accidents happen, especially on snow- and ice-covered roads. That’s why keeping some emergency provisions in your vehicle is always a good idea. Then, if you’re ever stranded, you might be able to remedy the problem yourself—or at least keep warm while you wait for the tow truck.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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