Posted on December 19, 2022
Recent events, such as the traffic jam in British Columbia during the first snow fall earlier this year, remind us how important it is to be prepared for any eventuality when driving in winter, whether in the city or on the highway. Here we look at a few accessories you should carry around with you in your vehicle this winter.
Items we should all have in our vehicle
In any season, it is recommended to carry a small first aid kit, one or more flares, a hand-cranked flashlight, a cellphone charger - batteries run down quickly in the cold - and some dry food and water. A few basic tools or a multi-tool can be very useful in any situation. It's easy to wedge a few paper towels or a rag into one of the car's storage compartments, so you can easily check your oil level, for example.
Even for a relatively quick trip to the corner store or a friend's house during the winter season, a car should always be equipped with a snow brush, some abrasive or sand, and even a shovel. Some folding models take up very little space and can certainly help if you should ever be stuck. Some traction actions are also very useful.
With the changing weather, we sometimes lose track of our windshield washer fluid consumption and that is why it is wise to keep a container in the car as well.
The cold, a formidable enemy
Because you never know if you will be stranded for a few hours on the road this winter, it is important to be prepared in winter. It is highly recommended to keep a warm blanket, gloves and a change of clothes.
Cold weather can also affect your car battery and make it difficult to start your car; in case of a breakdown, you'll be relieved to have jumper cables or a portable power supply on hand.
Plan your route
While planning your route may seem trivial at times, it is especially important to do so for long distances and during the winter months. And if technology sometimes seems infallible, remember that the car's online services or the cellular network is not accessible everywhere. Keeping a map or atlas handy can be crucial, especially in an unfamiliar area.
By estimating your fuel consumption and the distance you need to cover, you can also plan for refueling and rest breaks. This advice is even more relevant for people who own an electric car, knowing that the temperature affects the battery's performance and that charging stations are not available everywhere. For very remote areas, some drivers even prefer to keep a fuel can on board.
Driving in winter is something all Canadians know how to do and have been doing for years. Still, being prepared for the unexpected is always a good idea!