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10 Things You Need For Winter Driving

With all due respect to the Starks, winter is no longer coming. It is here. And it brings with it biting cold, black ice, and all manners of snow, sleet, and slush. If you’re not gonna let the white stuff slow you down, here are 10 things you need to have in your car.

#1:  Small Snow Shovel
For obvious reasons, you should have a shovel with you at all times. Weather you’re digging yourself out or your a good Samaritan, it is just common sense to have one of these in the trunk of your car during winter.

#2:  Bag of Sand/Kitty Litter
As we all know the number 1 enemy during the winter is lack of traction. Should you find yourself stuck, putting a little sand or something similar in front of your drive wheels will help you even the odds should you find yourself struggling for grip.

#3:  External Battery Charger For Cell Phone
If you find yourself in a ditch, out of gas, or otherwise immobile you’re gonna need to call for help. Your cell phone won’t help you if it’s dead or dying. Which is where an external battery pack comes in handy. It doesn’t require your car to be running to charge so you can keep your phone going even if your car isn’t

#4:  Extra Blankets
This seems like another no-brainer, but I am almost positive you don’t have any form of blanket in the trunk of your car. You really should, because winter is cold and should your car stop running you’re going to need extra layers to keep yourself warm.

#5:  First Aid Kit
Yet another piece of kit that seems obvious. You’ve just slid off the road, it’s possible that you or one of your passengers are injured. Better to have a first aid kit and not need it than to need it and not have it.

#6:  Basic Tool Kit
Weather you’re handy or not, it’s a good idea to have some form of tool kit in your car. You never know when you may need them. Even if you aren’t good at using them, someone who stops to help might be, so just better to have them at the ready. Think basic socket set, screw drivers, and DEFINITELY a flashlight.

#7:  Winter Floor Mats
They don’t even have to be winter specific, but it’s a good idea to have an extra pair in your car. For the same reason as sand, they help when you’re stuck and traction is scarce. To top it off they’re reusable should you be one of those individuals who gets stuck frequently.

#8:  Snow Pro
If you park your car outdoors you know how much of a pain in the ass clearing the snow off your car can be. Especially since it’s illegal in most states to drive your car without clearing all of it of snow. Now, you have your handy ice scraper, but that doesn’t do the job quick enough. Shovels and brooms can scratch your paint. Enter the Snow Pro. I used these things during my days at Enterprise Rent-A-Car to clear snow off cars and they are a God send. Easy to use, effective, and there is almost no risk of scratching your precious paint. If you live in an area where it snows do yourself a favor and get one now!

#9: Road Flares
If you are unlucky enough to find yourself stuck on the side of the road you want to be visable. Last thing you want is for someone to not see you or your car and run into it. Lets face it, if conditions are so bad that you slid off the road visibility isn’t ideal, road flares or those safety triangles are the best way to increase your chances of being seen.

#10: Common Sense
This above all else is the number 1 thing every driver should have with them during the winter months. Drive slowly, control your momentum, and think before you go out on the roads. Use your brain. If it seems like a bad idea to go out in winter weather, you probably shouldn’t do it

Written by Chad Kennedy

Chad burst from the womb wearing a racing suit and a helmet. Chad's passion for cars is in his very DNA. His father was a gear head and passed on the tradition through owning such classics as a '66 Mustang and a '59 Corvette all while taking him to various race tracks in the area. Chad likes to wrench on his rides whenever possible, forgoing the stealership. Chad is an avid motorsports fan with particular interest in endurance/sports car racing. When not online writing for Shifting Lanes, you can find him working at the local golf course teaching people how to swing or hooning a golf cart at impossible speeds.


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