Holiday Safety

Winter Road Trip Essentials

From Big Bear to Sequoia, all of us in Southern California love to hit the road in search of some fun in the snow during the holidays. For long-distance road trips this season, consider adding these additional items to your roadside safety kit.

  • Windshield scraper. Good visibility is your most important safety item, but persistent snow and ice can build up quickly and make it hard to see. A long-handled, soft-bristled brush can also come in handy. Be sure to do the heavy clearing with a tool, rather than the windshield wipers.
  • Tire chains and tow strap. Familiarize yourself with how to put the chains on your vehicle’s tires or attach a tow strap before you need to do it in cold and possibly dark conditions.
  • Blanket, extra layers, winter hat. If you run out of fuel or if your battery dies, the vehicle won’t be able to provide heat. A blanket, extra layer (like a sweatshirt or fleece) and hat can help keep you warm if you have to wait for a long time in cold conditions.
  • Chemical hand warmers. These small, inexpensive packets are available at ski shops and sporting-goods stores.
  • Water and nonperishable emergency food. Bring enough food and water to sustain you and any passengers for at least a meal—longer for remote areas or in extreme cold regions.
  • Small folding shovel. If you get stuck in snow, this can be a vital tool. A folding camping-style shovel will require more digging effort than a longer-handled shovel, but it is more convenient to store in the vehicle.
  • Bag of cat litter. Spreading the litter around your tires might provide extra grip to help you get unstuck from slippery embankments. Plus the added weight in the trunk might give a bit more traction with a rear-drive car.
  • Reflective safety vest. These can fit over your warm, oversized winter coat, yet still allow you to be seen up to 300 feet away.

Source: Consumer Reports. See the full article here:

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