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Dec 11

Winter Car Essentials

Posted by:AutoMoney

With winter well and truly here, it is only a matter of time before we are dealing with heavy snow and very icy conditions. But before you set off, it is important for you to not only plan your journey but also what you have in your car. Unfortunately, more accidents happen in the winter than any other time of the year, and when you are out and about on the road there is the potential to be caught up in traffic, so we have compiled a handy list of winter essentials for your car.

Car driving on icy road at night

Image credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/2005_winter_road_full_beam.jpg
 

Blankets

Especially ideal if you have children, blankets can be a real helpful aid. Mornings in winter can take some time to warm up in the car, and whilst we all have the best intentions of getting up early and allowing the car to fully warm up inside before setting off, reality is usually far from the mark. Having a blanket in the back for the children keeps them warm but you should still keep a few lightweight blankets in the boot of the car in case you are stuck in traffic or attend the scene of an incident.

Shovel

If you are caught out in a freak snowstorm, a shovel is probably your best means of escaping. It will allow you to dig a decent path for you to push / move your car out of and could also help other road users and passers-by.

Torch


In case of an accident such as your car breaking down and being stranded or having to walk somewhere, a torch is essential. If you keep a torch in the glove box, it will be available easily in case of any emergency, such as having to change a tyre and you can always keep a larger and more powerful torch in the boot of the car.

Food


It is key that you pack a few snacks in the car before setting off. Items like cereal bars, chocolate and energy snacks are perfect to keep in the boot, and as they are not fresh items, you don’t have to worry about them going off. Ideal for giving an energy hit and providing some sustenance for you if you are caught out, these items are a must and will only take up a small amount of space. It is definitely worth considering if you have passengers or children on your travels with you.

Water


It is well known that people can survive days without food, but the body needs water – it is worth filling up a few bottles with water before setting of in case you were to need it. Dehydration can have severe ill effects on the mind and body, so it is strongly advisable that you stay hydrated, and it is always handy to carry water in case you needs to top up the water tank in your car.

Spare Phone / Charger

These days, most new cars come with a USB slot to enable phone charging when the engine is on, and you can also buy cigarette lighter adapters that enable you to power your phone if you do not have a USB slot. If you get stuck in traffic and need to contact someone, call for breakdown cover or use your map applications to plan an alternative route home, the use of a charger could prove invaluable.


(It goes without saying that the use of the mobile phone for calling, texting or navigation purposes needs to be done when you have pulled over and stopped in a safe location)

Breakdown Details


Most insurance policies these days come with some form of breakdown cover, and if not, there are many different breakdown suppliers nationally. Before setting off on any journey, even if it is just for five minutes down the road, make sure that you have your breakdown details with you – either in card form or as a contact entry on your mobile with a photograph of your card so that you can read off the membership information.

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