If you’re in a part of the world where it’s winter right now (Toronto is snow free currently but I’m sure it won’t remain like this for much longer!) and are planning to drive to visit family and friends in the upcoming months, make sure your car is ready for the snow.
Tips for Safe Winter Road Travel:
1. Winterize Your Car
If you haven’t replaced your car battery in years (or ever), do so soon. Make sure your mechanic tests your car battery before heading out on a long road trip.
Check fluid levels such as winter motor oil, radiator coolant, transmission oil etc.
Make sure all head and tail lights are functioning properly and windshield wipers work. Clear visibility allows for safer driving during the winter months. It is very unsafe if either the lights or windshield wipers are malfunctioning.
2. Get Your Tires Checked
Check tire air pressure and tread depth. All tires have tread wear indicators so when the tread is flush with the tread wear indicators, the tire must be replaced. Consider winter tires if you live in a region that gets a lot of snow. They provide better traction, greater control and stability.
Duracell makes an instant portable charger for USB phones. If your phone battery dies during a road trip or something happens to your car while on the road, a small instant charger like this will allow you to contact someone for help.
If your family is planning to travel to remote areas this winter where phone coverage is patchy, consider an in car telephone service like On-Star.
4. Make an Emergency and First Aid Kit
Include a shovel, ice scraper, blankets, flashlights, warning devices (flares), jumper cables, sand or kitty litter, bandages, rubbing alcohol, extra gloves and hats, hand/feet warmer pads, lighter and candles, and non perishable food.
If you don’t have time to put together an emergency kit, you can purchase one from any big box store for $30-40. Definitely a worthwhile investment that you can restock each winter. If you are travelling with babies or infants, keep a small can of formula, food, diapers and wipes in the car too.
Remember to bring all prescription medication you will need (as well as a bit extra) in case your travel is delayed by bad weather.
5. If you are travelling by car, let someone who is not travelling with you know your itinerary and route.
This is important if you’ll be driving in or through rural areas. Give yourself extra time to reach your destination and consider delaying your trip in bad weather.
Are you ready for winter driving? Do you have any other tips for families to stay safe this winter while on the road?
*Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.