The start of Christmas Holidays is just a week away, and for many people that means traveling to be with family. For some it’s a short distance, for others it’s a very long ways. Whether you are renting a car, or driving your own vehicle, here are some winter driving tips, to help you stay safe, and be prepared for any winter driving situations that may arise.
If you are renting a vehicle, give the vehicle a quick inspection of your own, and make sure it is properly prepared for winter driving. Don’t just assume everything is OK. It should have snow tires on it, the windshield washer fluid should be full, the wiper blades should be in very good condition, and the spare tire should be properly inflated. Renting an SUV, or a vehicle with 4×4 capabilities is also a good idea, if your area of travel gets lots of snow, or if your family lives in the country.
If the vehicle you’ll be traveling in is your own, make sure that it is properly maintained, and ready for winter driving. It should have winter tires, a new battery, and new wiper blades. If you service your own vehicles, find tools you may need to rent for the job, on Rentcharlie.com.
As a Canadian, having experienced the vast distances, remote areas, and extreme winter conditions that Canada has, I’ve learned that a person should be very prepared, and look out for their own safety, when traveling in the winter. It’s always a good idea to pack a few things in your trunk, should you have a situation, or should an emergency arise.
Emergency supplies could include things such as a mini air compressor, a battery pack/battery booster, a spare fan belt, a tow rope, and a few vital fluids, such as anti-freeze, and windshield washer fluid. If you get into trouble in the middle of nowhere, these items can help you to help yourself.
Other emergency supplies that are good to have in your vehicle are a first aid kit, candles, matches, a tin can (to use when burning the candles), bottled water, a few snacks, such as granola bars, and a sleeping bag, or a warm blanket. If you get stranded in cold weather, these items can keep you from freezing, and keep you from getting dehydrated.
If you’re traveling with small children, make sure you have enough supplies to meet their needs, to keep them warm, and fed, if you should get stranded.
Other good things to have are a GPS, a flashlight, triangles or flares to place on the road, if you happen to break down, and a reflective vest to wear, to make sure you are visible to other drivers, if you have to change a flat tire.
It can be easy to take travel for granted, to just jump into a vehicle, and go, without a second thought. But the fact is, is that people get into trouble driving in the winter every year. Snowstorms happen, people hit the ditch, cars break down, people get lost, and people have even been stranded on the highway for hours at a time, if a road has to be closed. Everyone knows that when you are well prepared, a difficult situation becomes much less stressful to handle.
Check the weather reports, and road reports, be prepared, and drive safely this holiday, as you go to be with your friends and loved ones.