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8 emergency road items for the late fall and winter

driving winter

The time has come to prepare your car for the winter months and to prepare for any sudden emergency.

A great companion for the road is a vehicle service contract (also known as an extended car warranty), which pays for sudden mechanical breakdowns and includes 24-hour roadside assistance.

Below are 8 emergency road items to keep in your car in late fall and winter.

1. Car phone charger

Lithium-ion batteries are not meant to be exposed to lower temperatures. In the cold, your phone can lose charge faster than normal. Your phone can even be at almost-full battery and suddenly die on you. If you have a problem on the road during the cold months, you’ll be thankful to have a car phone charger in the car.

2. Warning flares or triangles

During the darker and colder months, drivers should be especially careful. There’s lower overall visibility. In late fall and winter months, drivers should adjust their speed, slow down and be alert in case someone’s car has broken down on the road. Warning flares or triangles will help others see you in difficult weather conditions.

3. Flashlight 

It’s good practice to have a flashlight in your car throughout the year.  However, they’re especially necessary during the darker months. It’s another way to alert drivers that you’re in an emergency situation and they’re essential if you just need something simple like changing a flat tire. Be sure to keep extra batteries in your emergency kit.

4. Jumper cables

Much like phone batteries, car batteries are also weaker in the cold. It’s very likely to lose charge and leave you stranded before going to work or after a holiday party. Having a set of jumper cables in the car will allow you to use someone else’s battery to charge yours. If your battery is constantly losing its charge, you should take it to a mechanic and check if it’s a bigger problem.

Read our blog: 6 most common car problems that leave you stranded.

5. Snow shovel

When snow hits, a good snow shovel will ensure that you have mobility. Look for a snow shovel that doesn’t take up too much space in your trunk. You can find small and foldable shovels that are made of plastic, steel or aluminum. Plastic is normally the most lightweight option.

6. First aid kit

You can buy first aid kits for your car that are already packaged, but putting one together on your own will cost a lot less. You want to put all the items in a container box that can fit inside your glovebox. Essential items are: saline solutions for eye washing or cleaning wounds, hand sanitizer, bandaids and bandages, aspirin or ibuprofen, antibiotic ointment, adhesive tape and gauze pads.

7. Water

Though we tend to feel less thirsty during the colder months, we still need to keep hydrated. Emergency assistance services like tow trucks can take longer to get to where you are if it’s raining or snowing outside. Having drinking water in the car is important, especially if you have younger or elderly people in the car with you. The best way to store water in your car is in a dry cooler in your trunk.

8. Blankets or old coats

The heat in your car will escape quickly if your car’s not starting. Even if you don’t live in a place where it’s freezing, you’ll still find yourself needing to keep your body warm with a blanket while you wait for assistance. If you have old coats in your house you’re thinking of giving away, consider keeping at least a couple of them in your car instead. You may also want to keep an extra pair of socks to help you retain even more warmth.

A new kind of extended car warranty that offers roadside assistance

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