PA Car Winterizing 101

This winter, be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Winter officially begins this week and the car accident injury attorneys here at Edgar Snyder & Associates wanted to remind you that, as the seasons change, so do your vehicle needs.

There's a reason for these types of seasonal safety reminders: Worst-case scenarios happen, and when they do, they are easier to get through if you're prepared.

This winter, one of the best ways to prepare for a motor vehicle worst-case scenario is by keeping a cold-weather emergency car kit in the backseat (not the trunk—more on that later).

Still not convinced you need one? Consider this: Last January, 500 vehicles were stranded overnight on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Somerset County after tractor-trailers could not make it up a hill, backing up traffic and preventing snow plows from removing snow and ice from the area.

The result? Hundreds of people spent the night in their cars without food, water and fuel—items the National Guard was called out to deliver.

Before the weather outside gets too frightful, be sure to consider these items for inclusion in your winter emergency car kit:

  • Stuff to Keep Warm. If you get a flat and have to change a tire on a blustery day, you'll wish you had a warm pair of gloves—and if you run out of gas, a throw blanket will go a long way in keeping you warm. Keep both in the car, along with a hat and an extra pair of socks in case your feet get wet.
  • Extra Fluids (For Your Car). Salt and slush can wreak havoc on your car windows, and there are few bigger annoyances than realizing too late that you have no windshield washer fluid on a snowy Pennsylvania day. Not only do we recommend keeping a spare bottle of the stuff in your car, but also a spray bottle filled with the solution so you can clean off your side mirrors and windows, too. It's just common sense: Your chances of getting into a car accident are greater if you can't properly see the road.
  • Extra Fluids (For You). Many passengers who were stranded last January on the Pennsylvania Turnpike had no water or food in their cars, and needed to rely on the National Guard and, in some instances, the kindness of strangers to get them through the night. We recommend keeping bottled water and some non-perishable food items in your vehicle just in case (think granola bars, trail mix and other shelf-stable foods).
  • Sand or Kitty Litter. Keep a big bag of sand of kitty litter in your trunk for two reasons: For one, it weighs the back of your car down, which can be an asset on slick roads. Second, it can be used to gain traction if you're stuck in ice or snow.
  • Some Winter Basics. You may already have these in your vehicle, but no winter emergency car kit would be complete without an ice scraper and a flat-tire kit (either a tire sealant kit or a pressurized-can sealer such as Fix-a-Flat).

Here's one more pro tip: If you can, consider storing your winter emergency car kit in the backseat just in case you aren't able to gain access to your trunk.

We hope you never have to face a winter driving worst-case scenario and that if you do, that you're prepared for it. Unfortunately, car accidents still happen—even when you've been careful, and even when you're prepared.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you probably have many questions. Let us help answer them. We are available 24/7—call our experienced legal team today for a free case review. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain because at Edgar Snyder & Associates, there's never a fee unless we get money for you.