back to articles | January 04, 2022 | Staci Bailey

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

Snow & Winter Driving Must-Haves in Your Car

Winter driving presents its own set of challenges. Slippery roads, reduced visibility, and unpredictable weather make it more challenging to stay safe. Prepare for what lays ahead with well thought out winter safety supplies to keep in the car.


Winter driving presents its own set of challenges. Slippery roads, reduced visibility, and unpredictable weather make it more challenging to stay safe. Prepare for what lays ahead with well thought out winter safety supplies to keep in the car.

Winter Emergency Kit

Every car should have an emergency kit but when winter months hit that kit needs to be equipped with a few additional items. Prepare for cold weather with the addition of a blanket or two. A candle can supply a surprising amount of heat inside a vehicle so keep a few of those in your kit along with matches.

In the winter visibility can be poor, roads become inaccessible, and there may be longer periods of time before you see another car on the road. For these reasons you may have a bit of a wait if you require assistance. If you are forced to stay in your vehicle for a while you’ll be far more comfortable if you have non-perishable food items and water in your kit.

First Aid Kit

If you have to wait for roadside assistance and you or one of your passengers happen to be injured, you may have to treat those injuries on your own until help arrives. A well equipped first aid kit can make all the difference. Check that you have first aid supplies before you drive.

Ice Scraper And Snow Brush

One of the most important winter safety supplies to keep in the car is a snow brush and ice scraper. Winter weather can be unpredictable and snow can fall rapidly even if it wasn’t in the forecast. Keep an ice scraper and snow brush in the vehicle and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Make sure to clear off your entire car before you drive. Snow and ice can obstruct your view making it more difficult to drive safely. Additionally it can fall off your car and hit other vehicles or pedestrians causing a dangerous situation.

If you’re looking to make scraping ice off your car easier you may consider keeping de-icer in your car. It’s a spray which melts ice upon contact and it’s perfect for windshields, windows, and wiper blades. You can get by with just the brush and scraper but de-icer can make the job much less tedious.

Winter Tires

Winter tires are made of a softer rubber which performs better in cold weather. You may be wondering why tires are included in a list of winter safety supplies to keep in the car. Four of your winter tires are not inside the vehicle but the fifth one might be.

The spare tire is a useful item to have in your car and yet it is often the most neglected. If you get a flat on the road during the winter, the last thing you need is to find that your spare has a bald or flat tire. Check your spare and give it the same attention as the other four wheels on your car.

Jumper Cables

Cold weather can negatively affect the battery in your car. If the battery is drained you can’t start the engine and you can’t turn on the heat. This is a bad situation to be in at any time of year but particularly in the cold winter months.

If you have jumper cables then all you need is help from another motorist and you can get your car operational. Not only will you be able to start the engine and turn on the heat, you’ll be able to drive away and get yourself a new battery. Furthermore, you can be a hero to someone else and give them a boost!

Road Flares Or Reflectors

In the winter days are shorter, storms reduce visibility, and snow is piled on the side of the road. These conditions can make it difficult to spot any vehicle that has stopped on the shoulder or driven off the road. This increases the likelihood that your car can be struck by a passing vehicle and makes it more difficult for emergency crews to find you.

Road flares, reflectors, and triangles are good ways of making yourself more visible. They can be set up behind your vehicle or where your car went off the road to make your location known. A whistle and a flashlight are good winter safety supplies to keep in the car too since both can be used to attract attention.

A Way Out Of The Snow

If you get stuck in a slippery spot you can wait for help to arrive or make your own escape with a few simple items. A small foldable shovel can help you dig your vehicle out of the snow. A bag of salt, sand, or cat litter can be sprinkled under the tires for traction. If all else fails a rope or chain and the kindness of a passing motorist can drag you out of a ditch and get you back on the road.

Winter Clothing

Warm clothes and boots make the task of clearing off your car or digging yourself out of a ditch more bearable. You’ll do a better job if you aren’t fighting frostbite. And if you are forced to stay in your car until help arrives, those extra layers can keep you warm until you are rescued.

Windshield Washer Fluid

It’s always a good idea to keep extra windshield washer fluid in your vehicle no matter what the season. However, in the winter it’s important to make sure that your washer fluid has antifreeze components in it so that it doesn’t freeze while you’re trying to use it. Having adequate windshield washer fluid helps keep your windshield clear but in an emergency it can also be used to de-ice wiper blades, key holes, and doors that may have frozen shut.

These winter safety supplies to keep in the car can make you prepared for the challenges of navigating ice and snow covered roads but your best defense is a dependable vehicle that’s designed for winter driving. If you don’t feel safe in the car that you have, consider trading up to something more suitable. Check out this resource for car financing and find out what you can qualify for without leaving home.