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Be prepared for winter driving

Staff Writer | December 1, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — With winter weather on its way, equipping vehicles for emergencies is a priority.

Drivers can never be certain that they won’t end up stuck on the side of the road with a blizzard on the way. AAA officials said there are items that can be kept in vehicles to help ensure the safest conditions should a driver run into challenging circumstances. 

A survival kit begins with an ice scraper, which many are likely to use on a daily basis during this time of year. A snow shovel is also advised. Collapsible shovels can be a good option for those with smaller vehicles, AAA officials said. 

Drivers should have enough hats, gloves, and blankets for everyone who may ride in each car. In case passengers aren’t able to stay in the car, it’s a good idea to have these items along with heavy-duty shoes if they are not already being worn. 

Flashlights with extra batteries can be essential if a driver runs into an issue after dark. A portable phone charger could also be needed. 

The AAA website also recommends jumper cables, non-perishable snacks, a first aid kit, and hazard triangles for winter driving. 

A few things to leave behind during the winter include beverages, electronics, medications, windshield wiper fluid, and musical instruments, AAA officials said. Beverages and wiper fluids can freeze, causing a mess in your car, or cracks in your wiper fluid reservoir. 

In addition, instruments and electronics are easily damaged by extremely low temperatures. Medications can also be affected by the weather and the cold can often cause certain prescriptions to lose potency.

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