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Winter Essentials in Your Emergency Car Kit

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Bus Accidents, Personal Injury, Product Liability, Truck Accidents, Wrongful Death


Chicago’s winter season is often accompanied by heavy snowstorms, generating up to 30 inches of snowfall every year. Along with freezing temperatures, inclement weather conditions can create unexpected problems for commuters and travelers. If you regularly rely on driving for transportation, we recommend that you stock the following winter essentials in your emergency car kit as safety precautions:

  • Windshield scraper
  • Windshield wiper fluid in wintry mix
  • Shovel/trowel
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Antifreeze
  • Booster cables
  • Roadside flares or reflectors
  • First aid kit
  • Tire chains
  • Spare tire
  • Rock salt, sand, or kitty litter
  • Extra blanket or jacket
  • Nonperishable snacks and water

Most of these simple items can be stored in a small box in your trunk, and they will definitely come in handy when your vehicle gets stuck or malfunctions in the midst of a brutal winter.

3 Problems That Could Happen To You: What to Do in an Emergency

You never know when an emergency will happen on the road, and the situation can become more dangerous under poor weather conditions. Thus, it is important to make preparations before an incident occurs. Take a look at the common winter emergency scenarios below, and plan out the best solution for you and your family.

  • Problem #1: Mechanical failure due to extreme cold
  • Solution: When the temperature drops below zero, even the most dependable car can suddenly experience transmission issues. If your vehicle breaks down in the middle of the road, try to move it to the side as much as possible, and turn on your roadside flares. You should check the fuel tank to make sure the fuel lines are not frozen, and also inspect the engine fluids and battery. If the problem cannot be fixed, call for roadside assistance.
  • Problem #2: Parked car stuck in heavy snow
  • Solution: It can be extremely frustrating to step outside and find your parked car buried by snow. This is when your emergency kit essentials can come to good use. Shovel away as much snow and ice around the tires as you can, and put on the tire chains. If your wheels are still spinning, sprinkle some salt and sand in front of the driven tires to gain traction. Before you start the engine, you should clear any snow covering the tailpipe.
  • Problem #3: Another driver loses control and hits you
  • Solution: Wet and icy pavements can cause vehicles to lose traction and hydroplane, potentially resulting in a serious car crash. If another driver hits your car, you should pull over immediately, and check for injuries. In accidents involving physical injury or considerable property damage, you should contact local law enforcement, and wait for an officer to arrive to fill out a report. Make sure to jot down the other person’s name, license plate, and insurance information, as well as take photos of the crash site.

If you have been recently injured in a motor vehicle accident, an experienced Chicago car accident injury attorney may be able to help. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. carry a track record of success in helping car accident victims recover compensation for accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Our dedicated personal injury team will walk you through each step of the legal process, from the initial case assessment through the final negotiations.

Get started today by calling the Chicago motor vehicle accident lawyers with Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to receive your free, no-obligations case consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900