And as much as we would like to stay inside all day long to avoid the below-zero temperatures, life must go on. We all know to not leave the house without a warm coat, hat and gloves, right? But considering that driving conditions can turn treacherous in an instant, how prepared is your trunk if you become stranded in this extreme cold?
It's important to plan ahead when there is snow, ice, poor visibility and freezing temps, but a recently survey by State Farm, together with KRC Research, discovered that nearly all drivers could improve what is in their trunk to be better prepared for roadside emergencies.
Where do you fall into the statistics?
While nearly all drivers (96%) had at least one emergency item in their vehicle, such as a spare tire or jumper cables, a mere 5% carried all of the emergency roadside equipment, including: jumper cables, spare tire, hazard triangle/road flares, flashlight, first aid kid, windshield scraper, water, non-perishable food and a blanket.
Although I'd like to claim that my trunk carries every one of those items and looks something like this...
...I am instead one of the 67% that admit to having some sort of "junk" (non-emergency supplies) in my car's trunk as well.
What about you? Are every one of those items in your trunk or, when you pop it open, do you find shoes, toys and used food or drink containers, instead?
If the above picture is starting to make you worried that you might be putting yourself and/or your family at risk when you head out in your automobile, then the following Winter Driving Survival tips from State Farm just might ease your worries:
Carry Emergency Supplies
In addition to the items mentioned above, other great winter essentials include a small folding shovel, a bag of road salt or cat litter, windshield wiper fluid, antifreeze and warning flares.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
While having the right gear is extremely important, you can help prevent trouble by having your car checked and tuned up — everything from hoses and fan belts to spark plugs to tire pressure and tread life.
Follow Winter Driving Recommendations
Winter driving has its own set of challenges, from the moment you start up your vehicle. Some useful winter driving suggestions include never warming up your vehicle in a closed garage, keeping your gas tank at least half full, not using cruise control on icy roads and staying calm if you start to skid.
Stay Calm if Stranded
If a winter storm strands you with your vehicle, would you know what to do? State Farm suggests:
- Pull off the highway, if possible, turn on your hazard lights or light flares, and hang a distress flag from an antenna or window.
- Call 911 if you have a phone and describe your location as precisely as possible.
- Remain in your vehicle so help can find you.
- Run your vehicle's engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. Open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and clear snow from the exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Exercise a little to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion and sweating.
- Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Conserve your vehicle's battery. Use lights, heat, and radio sparingly.
- At night, turn on an inside light when you run the engine so help can see you.
For the remainder of this winter (and all of those to come), be cautious, be safe and be prepared. Winter weather emergency preparedness isn't something to take for granted and, along with having the important supplies in your car, take the time to regularly check that all of the equipment is working properly. Your family just might be depending on it!
This article can give you much more about being prepared for roadside emergencies and the full details and results of the survey by State Farm, so head over for a visit!
Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will be prepared for their next ride even more than usual, because...
One lucky person will win a Trunk Safety Makeover Kit* from State Farm!
*Kit includes: mini LED flashlight, Nature Valley granola bars, supa cham towel, shoulder tote and a complete roadside emergency kit (Triangular-shaped tote with carry handle that doubles as a reflective hazard warning sign and contains essential tools for roadside emergency repair, including: set of jumper cables, heavy-duty plastic ice scraper, tire-pressure gauge, 9-piece ratchet set with rigid hand driver, pair of standard slip-joint pliers, flat head screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, roll of red electrical tape, blade-style automotive fuses, pair of white work gloves and insulated ring and spade terminals). Total ARV ~$50.
A big thank you to State Farm for providing a prize pack for me as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.