Planning your Winter Road Trip
Do you know what you need for your next winter road trip? It’s important to be prepared for any road trip, especially if it takes place during the winter months.
If you are planning an upcoming adventure, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is ready for any sort of Canadian weather! Here’s what you should have in your vehicle:
1. Food & Water: items such as granola and energy bars that won’t expire as well as bottled water that will not crack if frozen.
2. Extra layers: it’s handy to have extra sweaters or a few blankets stored in the vehicle.
3. First Aid kit: make sure that is properly stocked!
4. Shovel and snow scraper/brush
5. Sand, non-clumping kitty litter and/ or salt
6. Extra windshield washer fluid
7. Whistle/road flares
8. Jumper cables and tow ropes
9. Fire extinguisher
10. Candle and matches
You can find a printable version of this list on the Government of Canada website.
What should you do in case you actually do get stuck?
The best thing to do is stay calm and follow these steps:
– Try to stay calm and don’t go out in the cold. Stay in your car: you will avoid getting lost and your car is a safe shelter.
– Don’t tire yourself out. Shoveling in the intense cold can be deadly.
– Let in fresh air by opening a window on the side sheltered from the wind.
– Keep the engine off as much as possible. Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning and make sure the exhaust pipe is not obstructed by snow.
– If possible, use a candle placed inside a deep can instead of the car heater to warm up.
– Turn on warning lights or set up road flares to make your car visible.
– Turn on the ceiling light; leaving your headlights or hazard lights on for too long will drain the battery.
– Move your hands, feet, and arms to maintain circulation. Stay awake.
– Keep an eye out for other cars and emergency responders. Try to keep clothing dry since wet clothing can lead to a dangerous loss of body heat. (Government of Canada, 2017).
How to drive safely in the winter?
To stay out of trouble during your winter road trip, try to follow these winter driving best practices:
– Slow down and make sure you’ve kept a safe distance between you and the vehicle/stop/traffic light ahead of you.
– Closely monitor the weather and change your plans accordingly, we all know that Canadian weather can change on a dime!
– Be cautious and try to avoid braking, turning, or accelerating on slippery surfaces when possible.
– Be cautious and follow local weather reports for black ice.
– Ensure that your vehicle is in proper working condition, this includes brake checks, working windshield wipers, and investing in winter tires. Having winter tires on your vehicle could even help you save on auto insurance.
It’s time to pack your bags; you are ready to hit the road!