Every winter around Christmas time we take a car trip to grandmas house. We travel over the river and through the woods and across snow-capped mountains. After taking way too many long winter trips I know the dangers of winter travel.
We have spent many extra hours on the side of the road because of car trouble or flat tires. One year during our winter travels we had a tire completely blow out and had to change it right beside the highway. Not only is it scary enough to have a tire blow out from underneath you while you are speeding down the mountainous highway. Then to sit on the side of the road and have the vehicle shake every time a car or semi truck passes by. All this was happening with the kids in the back and the car on a jack with your husband half way under the vehicle.
So that we can minimize scary situations like the one above and other dangerous roadside problems we have equipped our minivan with a winter travel safety kit. I think that every vehicle should have some kind of safety kit. They do sell these car safety kits in stores but most of them are lacking.
Our Winter Travel Roadside Safety Kit Includes:
Emergency Cell Phone – this is an old phone that can be plugged into the car for charging and is only able to call 911 for an emergency.
Water and Food – you should try to have a water bottle for each person on your trip and some kind of food or snacks incase you are stranded for a while.
Flares and Flashlights – great for nighttime breakdowns, flares will help other drivers move to the lane farthest away from you and you may need a flashlight to change a tire.
First Aid Kit – because you never know what will happen or how long it may take emergency vehicles to come to help.
Shovel and Sand – no not for the beach, a shovel to dig you out of the snow and sand for tire traction, just incase you get stuck in snow on your winter travels.
Blankets – again you need blankets for every person with you on your trip. To save room you can pack the silver emergency blankets also called solar or Mylar blankets.
Triangles – those emergency roadside reflective triangles to place behind the car during the day so other travelers will go around your broken down vehicle.
GPS – if you happen to have a GPS it can tell you your exact coordinates (longitude, latitude) to relay to emergency personal or a tow truck.
It is always a good idea to get your car tuned up before you go on a long winter traveling trip. Check the vehicles jack and spare tire to make sure they are in good working order. Checking all tires for proper inflation pressure and correct tread depth should be done before all long trips but especially before winter travel.
Just by following a few winter travel safety tips and keeping a roadside car safety kit you can be a much more relaxed traveler and enjoy your trip even more. If you happen to end up stranded on the side of the road you will at least be somewhat prepared and have some safety equipment to deal with the situation.
For long trips you may also like: Fun Travel Games to Play While Traveling in the Car