Winter Driving Tips & Roadside Emergency Kit Checklist
With fall just getting underway, everyone here in Lynchburg is getting ready to brave those frosty Virginia mornings. Some of us have a routine in place—wake up early, grab a cup of coffee, and scrape the windshields for 15 minutes—while others are lucky enough to have a garage or Mercedes-Benz with a remote-start system. There are even others who have no idea what to do with their car when snow falls. Ooph.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of icy roads or a newbie about to jump into the fray, it’s always in your best interest to prepare for winter’s worst. Follow these tips from our Lynchburg Mercedes-Benz dealership, and you’ll be ready for Mother Nature.
Winter Car Emergency Kit Must-Haves
In addition to the “always carry” spare tire and tire-changing gear, you should also pack the following into your winter emergency kit:
- Jumper cables (16’ or longer)
- Flashlight (and batteries)
- Small wrench set
- Electrical or duct tape
- Ice scraper
- Folding shovel
- Road flares or traffic cones
- Gallon of water
- Nonperishable food (protein-rich foods are ideal)
- Thick blanket or sleeping bag
- Spare clothing and boots
- Multi-tool and knife
- First aid
- Fire extinguisher (“1A10BC” or “2A10BC” labels)
- Extra phone battery or power bank
- Road map
- A bag of sand or cat litter
- Windshield wiper fluid
- Hand warmers (example)
- Engine oil
- Old rags
Additional Winter Driving Tips
- Keep your gas tank above the ¼ mark. You never know when you’ll slide on a patch of ice and get stuck in a snow bank. Having extra gas to heat the cabin can literally save your life.
- Have a car escape tool available at all times. Such tools include small hammers, knives, seat belt cutters, and window breakers.
- If it’s cloudy or snowing, be sure and switch your vehicle’s headlights on. Doing so may not improve your visibility, but it alerts other drivers of your position.
- After the first freeze of the season, be sure and inflate your tires to recommended levels. Check the suggested PSI in your door jamb or owner’s manual.
- Avoid activating and using cruise control when roads are wet or icy.
- Have your brakes and tire tread inspected prior to the beginning of winter. Visit our auto service center near Bedford for your pre-winter car maintenance.
- If you begin skidding, don’t panic. Calmly and slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction opposite of where you’re facing. Don’t apply the brakes—just let the tires find traction.
- Never drive with snow on your hood or roof. Cleaning and scraping the wintry mix off is never fun, but it’s much safer than the alternative.
- Leave for your destination early to avoid unforeseen obstacles.
- Give yourself more following space than normal from the vehicle in front of you. There’s no telling when (or why) they’ll slam their brakes, but it’s bound to happen.
Find a Safer Car at Mercedes-Benz of Lynchburg
To give yourself an even bigger edge over winter, you might want to consider upgrading your vehicle to a newer, safer model. The latest 2017 and 2018 Mercedes-Benz vehicles at our Lynchburg luxury car dealership come with multiple standard and optional safety features to help you avoid wintery debacles. Browse our selection of new Mercedes-Benz sedans and SUVs for sale and lease, and you’ll be one step closer to giving the upcoming cold weather the cold shoulder.
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