Winter has already begun and before you know it, waking up with snow and ice covering your windshield will become the norm. We often think all we need is some gas to get us through the day, but trust us, the winter season comes with its complications, and it’s always better to plan ahead and be prepared for whatever may come your way. Think about it, if there is ice frozen onto your vehicle, where else might there be black ice laying in store for you on your commute to work or to the grocery store?
Here are 5 items everyone should keep in the vehicle during the winter:
1. Snow & Ice Scraper
This one is obvious. A snow and ice scraper is a much more efficient way to clear your windshield of precipitation than your jacket sleeve or a piece of cardboard. Sadly, sometimes in the winter, it’s difficult for us to gain access to the interior of the vehicle without cleaning the outside first. You have two options. If you know it’s going to be a snowy or icy morning, take your scraper inside so it’s easy to access. If you’re not one to pre-plan, it may be valuable to buy two ice scrapers so you can keep one in your vehicle and the other in your garage.
2. Food & Water
This one may seem obvious, but ask yourself if you currently have any non-perishable foods or water in your vehicle right now. It’s always better to be prepared in case you get stranded than to be unprepared, cold, hungry and thirsty, right? We recommend grabbing a box or two of your favorite granola bars and keeping a water bottle with you at all times. If remembering to take water with you everywhere you go seems too challenging, invest in some BPA-free water. BPA-free bottled water brands include Essentia, Fiji, VOSS (glass only) and Boxed Water.
3. Jumper Cables
You may not use it often, but having a jumper cable when you need it can be a life saver. This is a useful tool year-round, but cold weather is often the cause for a dead battery. The reason for this is because cold weather can slow down the chemical reaction batteries rely on to initiate. Fun Fact: when the weather is at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, your battery can lose over 30%+ of its strength.
4. Outdoor Clothing
Think of this scenario: Your car fails to start, you no longer have access to the heat from your car, and the tow truck is 2 hours away due to inclement weather. What will you need? In this situation, you will want to be able to layer up, so we recommend keeping a warm winter jacket, hand warmers or gloves and perhaps even a fleece blanket.
Pro-Tip: Extra socks don’t hurt either.
Before we get too deep into the winter, it’s always a good idea to have your tires checked or even do a self check. Evan’s Tires (www.evanstire.com) has simplified the penny trick to self-check your tires:
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“To test your treads, turn the penny upside down with Lincoln’s head facing you. Insert the coin into your tire treads until the top of the coin touches the rubber at the bottom of the groove. On a tire with adequate tread, the top of Lincoln’s head will disappear.” – Evan’s Tire Link
Having your tires checked is great, but that doesn’t mean your tires won’t give up on you. You should always keep a spare in your car. Also, if you’re keeping a spare with you, make sure you have the tools you need to change out your tires. If you don’t want to spend on a spare, at the very least, sign up for an affordable service like AAA so they can help you if you need additional roadside assistance.
6. Phone Charger
If you’re driving in the early hours of the morning in the middle of nowhere, you really don’t want to get stranded with a dead phone. A portable phone charger can save your life. Make it a point to charge the portable charger either after use or on a monthly basis, as most phone chargers will hold onto their battery life rather well for a few weeks.
There are many additional items that can be helpful to carry in the winter such as a roadside hazard kit and a first aid kit, but these are the items we at the Parrish Law Firm are mindful to keep in our vehicles every winter. We hope these tips help keep you safe, warm and as hiccup-free as possible this winter season.
About Jim Parrish
Jim Parrish’s vision has always been to bring peace to clients whose lives have been turned upside down by their personal injuries and from dealing with unscrupulous insurance companies. With over 20 years of personal injury experience, as well as prior experience working with the insurance companies, Jim is well versed in the tricky ways that insurance companies try to scheme their way out of paying damages to deserving injured persons.
For the first several years of his career, Jim Parrish worked for, provided advice to and represented insurance companies in claims across the nation. However, after seeing the injustice of good people being deprived of fair and reasonable payment for life-changing injuries and damage, Jim decided to use the skills and knowledge he learned from inside the insurance industry to champion the rights of victims of harm and wrongdoing.
Jim’s practice is exclusively limited to personal injury matters arising from car/motorcycle/trucking accidents, dog attacks, products liability, and more.
If you have been involved in a personal injury, call the Parrish Law Firm for a FREE legal consultation today at (571) 364 – 6307 or contact Parrish Law Firm.