It’s too late to prepare for a winter road emergency if you’re already in one. That’s why, when it comes to winter road safety, it’s important to be proactive. Planning for the worst is the best way to make sure you’re prepared to handle any situation. Here are five items you should always keep inside your car’s winter emergency kit.

1. Pen and paper:

Writing utensils may not be the first items that come to mind when you think about winter road safety, but a pen and writing pad are valuable to have on hand. If you need to call for a tow, the dispatcher may have additional phone numbers you’ll need or an incident number. In the event of a collision, you’ll need to be ready to take down the other driver’s information. 

2. LED flashlight:

Whatever quick fix you need to do — changing a flat, checking under the hood, writing down notes and phone numbers in an emergency — a small LED flashlight can be a huge help. In an emergency, an LED flashlight is also an effective way to signal to oncoming traffic that you’re in distress. Make sure you pack extra batteries too.

3. Road maps:

Yes, everyone has smartphones these days, but in an emergency, you never know if you’ll be able to rely on an app. As soon as you’re out of range or the moment your battery dies, there goes your map. As a fail-safe, always keep a road map with you. No matter how remote the area, a good, old-fashioned paper map will still work anytime you need it.

4. Water:

If you’re stranded in a remote area, staying hydrated might not be top-of-mind, but keeping up your body’s fluid intake is incredibly important. That’s why you should always keep extra water in your vehicle. According to Outdoor Life magazine, it’s best to store extra water in a stainless steel container, because if the water inside freezes, it can be melted using a heat source — not an option if your water’s in a plastic bottle. Be careful, as the metal will become hot.

Do yourself a favor and keep these four items inside your vehicle during the winter. For a full winter road safety kit, you should also pack extra winter gear, warm blankets, non-perishable snacks, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, an ice scraper, a shovel and cat litter for gaining traction in slippery conditions. They say fortune favors the prepared, and when it comes to winter driving, truer words have never been spoken. You can stock up on many winter road essentials right at your local Cenex.

To find a station near you, visit our LOCATIONS FINDER.

Spread The Word