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No one ever wants to be stuck in traffic or on the side of the road. But a situation that is usually more annoying than a safety issue can become increasingly dangerous when dealing with winter weather or sub-zero temperatures.
An excellent example of this is the recent traffic nightmare on I-95 such as Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine referred to as "dystopian" and who left some motorists stuck on the road for over 20 hours, many with limited supplies and means to stay warm. Thankfully, rescue workers were able to provide water and heat to those in need, and none of the thousands involved were seriously injured.
With the possibility of another major winter storm next week and several months of winter travel ahead, our Personal Insurance team at Scott advises you to take a moment to create a checklist for winter travel and prepare an emergency package.
Winter Travel Checklist
- Prepare your vehicle. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, that your windshield wipers work well, that all your fluid levels are where they should be and that your battery is in good condition.
- Check weather and road conditions. Before getting in the car, check the weather and road conditions along the route you are traveling. If there is a risk of dangerous weather and travel is not necessary, stay away from the roads.
- Look for alternative roads. If there are particularly dangerous areas that you would normally travel through, check your GPS or map for an alternative route.
- Dress appropriately. Even if you think that your trip will go fast and that you do not need to stock up, you may be stranded and need the extra heat. You can always take off extra layers later if you get too hot, but having them with you can make a big difference in a dangerous situation.
- Let someone know. If possible, let a family member or friend know where to travel and when to arrive at your destination.
- Think about it. Make sure you have a full tank of gasoline before you travel. If you get stranded, the best way to run your car's heater is to keep you warm.
- Have an emergency kit for winter weather in the car.
What to include in your emergency kit for winter weather
- Extra layers (jackets , coats, hats, scarves, gloves, socks, boots, etc.)
- First aid kit
- Signing device (flares, signal cone, etc.)
- Non-fresh produce. , trail mix, etc.)
- Water bottles
- Phone charger
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Pet food (if applicable)
- Extra medicines (if applicable) [19659014
- Bags with sand or cat litter ( to get a grip and weigh the back of the vehicle)
If you get stuck in traffic or on the side of the road during the winter weather, it is almost like stopping at your car until help arrives is always the safest option. If you try to venture out of it, leave the only safe source of heat and protection available.
First contact your roadside assistance company or rescue personnel. To keep you warm while you wait for help to arrive, drive your car and heater periodically. This will help save fuel and avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also make sure to keep the car's exhaust pipes clean from snow and ice. Use the supplies in your emergency kit as needed until help arrives.