Stay Safe on Winter Roads: Must-Have Car Safety Kits


Stay Safe on Winter Roads: Must-Have Car Safety Kits

Drivers in Nova Scotia can encounter difficult conditions all winter and even at the beginning of spring. Unpredictable weather patterns and fluctuating temperatures can make roads hazardous but knowing that you have the tools on hand to make it through an emergency can give you some much-needed peace of mind. 


At Race Auto Group, we prioritize the safety and preparedness of our clients all year round. This guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary for assembling a must-have car emergency kit. Preparedness and planning can dramatically reduce the risks and stress associated with winter driving in Nova Scotia.

Understanding Winter Car Safety

From icy roads that reduce tire grip to snowstorms that significantly reduce visibility, winter driving can be challenging for even the most experienced drivers. The cold also impacts vehicle performance, with lower temperatures affecting battery efficiency, tire pressure, and the viscosity of engine oil. 

These conditions demand not only a higher level of caution while driving but also a well-thought-out strategy for emergencies. A thoughtfully assembled winter car emergency kit addresses these challenges head-on, ensuring you’re equipped to handle common winter driving speedbumps.

Essential Items for Your Winter Car Safety Kit

Putting together a car emergency kit list is all about being prepared for the unexpected. Here’s a breakdown of the essential items every driver should have in their vehicle’s winter car kit:

1. Ice Scraper and Snow Brush

Visibility is a top priority for safe driving, and clear windows are essential. A quality, well-made ice scraper and snow brush are indispensable for removing frost, ice, and snow so that you have an unobstructed view of the road and your surroundings.

2. Shovel

A compact, foldable shovel can be a lifesaver if your vehicle gets stuck. It allows you to easily clear snow from around your tires and undercarriage, making it easier to slip out of snowdrifts and get back on the road.

3. Sand, Salt, or Kitty Litter

These materials can provide much-needed traction for your vehicle on icy surfaces. Sprinkling sand, salt, or cat litter near your tires can give you the extra grip you need to get moving on slippery roads.

4. Jumper Cables

The cold can severely impact your car battery’s performance. Jumper cables provide a solution, making a jump-start from another vehicle possible to bring your car back to life.

5. Flashlight and Extra Batteries

A reliable flashlight and extra batteries can make all the difference for nighttime visibility, whether you’re checking under the hood, freeing your tires from snow or signalling for help.

6. Warm Clothes and Blankets

Keeping extra clothing, gloves, hats, and blankets in your vehicle ensures you and your passengers are comfortable and warm if you find yourselves stranded for a few hours. Consider stocking your emergency kit with hand warmers as well, in case of extreme cold.

7. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is essential for addressing minor injuries or medical needs while waiting for help to arrive. If you have an older vehicle emergency kit, it’s also important to make sure that the first aid kit within is complete and up to date

8. Non-Perishable Food and Water

Having a stock of non-perishable snacks and water can sustain you and your passengers if you find yourselves waiting on the side of the road. Granola bars, fruit snacks and nuts are easy to keep in your kit and can make all the difference.

9. Road Flares or Reflective Triangles

Flares and reflective triangles or a reflective vest are crucial for increasing your vehicle’s visibility to other drivers, particularly in the event of a breakdown or when stranded. The more visible your car is the safer you and your passengers will be inside of it.

10. Portable Phone Charger

Maintaining the ability to call for help or communicate with family during an emergency is vital. A charged battery pack and spare cell phone charger can keep your phone working while you wait for help so that the emergency workers know where to find you and your loved ones know you’re alright.

Additional Winter Driving Tips

In addition to putting together your winter car emergency kit, consider these tips to avoid roadside emergencies:

  • Regular Vehicle Maintenance: Ensure your vehicle is ready for winter with a thorough check-up. The service team at Race Auto Group can get your car ready for winter and keep it running dependably all season!

  • Keep the Gas Tank Half Full: This reduces the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and potentially freezing and also ensures you have enough fuel to keep the engine running for warmth if you become stranded.

  • Stay With Your Vehicle: If you find yourself stuck on the road, stay with your vehicle whenever possible. it is much safer to be inside of your vehicle and makes it easier for emergency workers to find you.

  • Avoid Driving During Bad Conditions: If possible, it’s best to avoid driving during particularly bad winter weather conditions altogether. If it’s not necessary to get on the road, it’s often better not to take the risk.

Race Auto Group Takes Winter Driving Safety Seriously

The key to a stress-free winter driving experience is in preparation and the right support. That's where Race Auto Group comes in. With the comprehensive tips for assembling a winter car safety kit presented above and our dedicated team ready to assist with all your vehicle needs, we take your safety seriously.

If you’re looking for a dependable used vehicle or a professional to check your car for winter readiness, we're here to help. Contact Race Auto Group today and drive confidently through the Nova Scotia winter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don't have space in my car for all the recommended safety kit items?

Focus on the most critical items like the ice scraper, snow brush, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, and warm clothing. These items have plenty of use cases and can often be very compactly packed.

How often should I check the items in my winter car safety kit?

It's a good practice to check your winter emergency kit at least once at the beginning of the season and periodically throughout to ensure everything is in working order or has not expired and to replace any used items.

Can Race Auto Group provide a rental car if mine is not winter-ready or if I'm visiting Nova Scotia during the winter?

Yes, Race Auto Group offers winter-ready rental cars ready to get you where you need to during a Nova Scotia winter. Contact us today to reserve your vehicle and explore our beautiful province!