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Published December 11, 2019

Temperatures are dropping, snow is falling, and roads are as icy as ever. Imagine you’re driving on rural roads towards a weekend winter getaway. Suddenly you hit a patch of black ice, swerve off the pavement, and end up in a ditch. You try to call for assistance, but there’s no service. Now what?

Why You Need a Winter Survival Kit
In a recent study, RSA Canada found that over 55% of Canadians were not prepared for a winter emergency. Perhaps you’ve made the change to winter tires and threw a snowbrush in your back seat. That’s a good start but winter driving conditions can be both dangerous and unpredictable, so being well prepared and equipped for emergencies is vitally important.

The Basics
Turns out, all it takes is a little bit of time to pack your vehicle with the essentials that will keep you safe and give you peace of mind no matter where you’re headed this winter.

First aid kit
Firstly, this is a must-have, even when it’s not cold outside. Your first aid kit should include, at the very least, bandages, sterile gauze pads, alcohol-free cleansing wipes, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, safety pins, and distilled water for cleaning wounds.

Ice scraper, snowbrush, and a small shovel
The best things come in threes. In other words, an ice scraper and snowbrush will help you remove ice and snow from your vehicle, and a small shovel will come in handy if your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.

Jumper cables and tow rope
If your vehicle won’t start, which often happens when the temperature dips below 0, a jumper cable is your best friend. And if you get stuck in a ditch or snowbank, a tow rope can help recover your vehicle.

Must-Haves For Longer Trips
If you’re planning a winter road trip a little further from home, pack the following items before you go.

Flashlight, batteries, and a portable charger
With less daylight and more snowfall, there is lower visibility during the winter months. A flashlight and spare batteries are always a good idea, and a portable phone charger can be a life saver when your phone is dead.

Blankets and extra attire
If you’re stuck in the snow, you can become cold and wet very quickly. Therefore, having an extra set of dry clothes and blankets on hand will help keep you warm. Your kit should include at least one thermal blanket as well as a change of socks, gloves and various other items of clothing for you and your family.

Non-perishable food and water
In an emergency, remaining hydrated and nourished is fundamental. Bottled water, granola bars, and canned foods don’t take up much space and are a great reserve to have.

Flares, warning lights, and waterproof candles and matches
If stranded, it is important to make yourself seen in order to avoid collisions and help first responders find you. Flares and warning lights will make you more visible to drivers and waterproof candles and matches can be used as a source of light and heat.

Prepare For The Worst, Hope For The Best
Overall, winter can be harsh, but it doesn’t mean you need to hide indoors. Stay safe on the roads by preparing for any situation. Remember to check your winter driving survival kit every year by replenishing expired or used items so that you’ll be ready in the event of an emergency.

Injuries sustained during driving accidents can happen due to bad habits, not just bad weather. If you’re the victim of negligent driving, do not hesitate to contact MG Law for a free consultation. Call us today at (613) 730-8460.

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