Winter is well-known for presenting unique dangers when it comes to driving. Most people tend to take it much slower on the roads, which can actually cause an accident. Others don’t focus on good pre-winter maintenance, such as tire pressure, keeping the gas tank full, and having new windshield wipers installed.
The most basic of clearing products is an ice scraper with a brush. These helpful tools make it easier to brush snow off the windows and scrape away ice. While some people prefer to go out and start the car to let it warm up enough to clear the ice with the wipers, you may not have that much time to wait (think about being late to work), or you may not want to waste gasoline.
Look for a scraper that has a sharp blade. It is likely to be made of plastic, but you still need something that’s strong enough to break the glass. However, it must also have a little flexibility so that it conforms to the windshield curve. That way, you don’t have to scrape forever and go over the same place multiple times. It is also helpful to purchase an extendable-handle scraper if you have an SUV or truck.
You may also want to ensure that your windshield wiper fluid is filled before winter weather hits. If the nozzles haven’t frozen over, you can use that to clear the glass in a hurry.
You may not think about keeping a snow shovel in your car, but you may need to shovel yourself out of deep snow if you get stuck. The worst thing that can happen is to be tire-deep in snow without a way to get out. Revving the car in reverse is only likely to get you stuck further or cause more severe damage if you back up into something.
You can find foldable shovels that are perfect for the trunk of your car.
You never know when your battery will die or your car will stop working. Of course, you should pull over to the side of the road if applicable. However, you can warn other drivers that you’re having issues by turning on the hazard lights, and using cones placed behind the vehicle. Flashing strobe lights can also be effective to warn people you’re there or to let emergency response vehicles know where you are.
It’s also essential that you keep a blanket with you; if it’s freezing or below outside, you’re going to want to wait in the car and stay warm, especially if the car doesn’t run. You can also keep easy-to-eat food on hand and water. However, water can freeze if left in the vehicle; it might be a good idea to bring extra water with you when traveling.
It sounds strange, but cat litter (any brand and price range) can help if you’re stuck. While you can try a shovel, sometimes your tires just don’t get enough traction on ice or mud. Sprinkling kitty litter behind the tires can help.
Have you ever gone out, tried to open the door, and thought you had forgotten to unlock it? Your door is frozen shut, and you’re in a hurry. You can go inside, boil water, and pour it around the frame, but that can be dangerous and could damage the vehicle. Instead, use de-icer spray to spray around the frame.