Winter driving can be tricky, especially in a state such as Wisconsin. However, tricky is not synonymous with impossible. There are few easy ways to keep yourself safe when you are traversing Wisconsin roads. For instance, make sure to drive slower and to leave a good amount of distance between other vehicles when you are driving. In the winter these simple safety tips can help drastically reduce the number of auto accidents that occur. However, even with all of these precautions and safety tips, some winter driving emergencies are unavoidable. If you are in an emergency situation, it is important that you are prepared. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has created instructions for how you can make a winter driving survival kit to help keep you safe. This emergency driving kit can also be used outside of the winter months, in the event that you experience an unforeseeable emergency.
Winter Driving Survival Kit
You easily can equip your vehicle with essential survival gear for winter. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A 2 or 3-pound metal coffee can (punch 3 holes at the top of the can, equal distance apart). You’ll be storing the other items inside the can.
- 60-inch length of twine or heavy string (cut into 3 equal pieces – used to suspend can).
- 3 large safety pins (tie string to safety pins and pin to car roof interior to suspend can over candle).
- 1 candle 2″ diameter (place on lid under suspended can for melting snow).
- 1 pocket knife, reasonably sharp (or substitute with scissors).
- 3 pieces of bright cloth 2″ wide x 36″ long (tie to antenna or door handle).
- Several packets of soup, hot chocolate, tea, bouillon cubes, etc. (mixed into melted snow to provide warmth and nutrition).
- Plastic spoon.
- 1 small package of peanuts and/or a couple of protein/energy bars, some dried fruit (such as dried cranberries, which come in nicely sealed snack packs), and even a little chocolate, to provide you with some energy or comfort in stressful times.
- 1 pair of socks and 1 pair of gloves or glove liners, depending on what will fit in the can (cotton is not recommended because it provides no insulation when wet).
- 2 packages of book matches.
- 1 sun shield blanket or 2 large green or black plastic leaf bags (to reflect body heat).
- 1 pen light and batteries (keep separate).
When complete, place stocking cap over kit and carry in the passenger compartment of the car. If you have a 3-pound can, you will still have additional room for band-aids, aspirin, small radio, etc. If there is still room left, increase the quantity of any of the above items or improvise items you feel might be necessary.
Other items you may want to keep in the vehicle:
- A charged cell phone.
- Large plastic garbage bag.
- Pencil stub and paper.
- Plastic whistle.
You may want to keep the survival kit in the passenger compartment in case you go into a ditch and can’t get to or open the trunk.
Thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for this useful information and for these winter driving tips that will surely help Wisconsin motorists.