Surviving winter travel
Using a winter travel survival smartphone app and equipping your car can help you survive being stranded during winter.
Michigan State University Extension advises travelers to be prepared for unexpected weather changes during the winter months. According to the National Weather Service, weather conditions can change quickly depending on your route. It is always a good idea to keep your vehicle in good working condition, especially during the winter months.
Here are some auto maintenance tips:
- Make sure headlights and taillights are working.
- Check brakes.
- Inspect and/or replace windshield wipers.
- Check battery.
- If possible, switch to winter tires.
- Keep gas tank full.
The National Oceanography and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) refers to winter storms as “deceptive killers,” due to the dangers that can occur when exposed to extreme conditions. NOAA suggests carrying a winter storm survival kit in your vehicle that includes a mobile phone charger, blankets, flashlights, first-aid kit, extra clothing, shovel, ice scraper or brush and non-perishable foods, such as granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, hard candy and bottled water. If you are stranded, it is also advised to stay in your vehicle, run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat, open the windows for fresh air, make sure exhaust pipe is not blocked, keeping moving for circulation.
Recognizing winter threats, being aware of weather conditions, and being prepared for the dangers of winter travel can help to avoid serious injuries and accidents.