By: Jon Bezon
Association Development Manager / Adrian Steel
Winter Driving Safety Tips & Must-Have Emergency Equipment
Icy roads are a constant danger for anyone – especially contractors who brave the elements every day to do their jobs. You can only control so much of what happens on the road; everything else comes down to being prepared.
Follow these winter driving safety tips and stock your emergency kit with these recommended items to keep yourself safe on the road no matter what happens!
Pack Your Winter Driving Safety Kit
Every driver should have an emergency kit in their vehicle. Keeping your vehicle properly equipped is part of being a successful contractor. You never know where the next job will take you – and if you’re a technician like those in the HVAC or plumbing trades, you’re needed in the winter more than ever!
Since you’ll be on the road, you’ll need to pack your winter driving safety kit. No amount of safe driving can prevent black ice or another, less-aware driver from causing an accident! If that happens, you’ll be glad you had your kit.
So, what goes into a winter driving safety kit? Here are the basics:
First Aid Kit
No vehicle is road-ready without a first aid kit. When an accident happens, first aid can be a literal lifesaver! When stocking your first aid kit, remember to include:
- Field dressings (bandages, gauze tape)
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic cream or wipes
- Pain relievers
- Saline solution
These should get you started! There are plenty of additional items you can pack in a first aid kit, but these basics will help you minimize damage from common injuries after an accident while you wait for help to arrive.
Road Safety Gear
Driving in the winter opens you to two major risks: low visibility and poor traction. Your winter driving safety gear should include tools to mitigate these risks:
Road flares and reflectors – After an accident, the risk of a follow-up accident is higher than you may think. Increasing visibility, especially at night or during snowstorms, can help you avoid pile-ups and generally keep you safer on the road.
Tire Chains – Every state has different laws regarding tire chains, so make sure you know yours! Having them on-hand and knowing how to put them on your tires can give you the traction you need when the roads go from bad to worse.
In the most severe weather, it may take emergency services hours to reach your location. Winter driving safety means being prepared for any situation – so your kit should include some survival items to meet your basic needs if you’re stuck:
Winter/Survival Blankets – Packing one or more blankets designed for emergency kits can make sitting in your truck or cargo van a lot more comfortable. Specialized survival blankets are packed tight to minimize their space, but can help insulate you against the cold.
Food and Water – Some emergency situations could have you in your vehicle for longer than you ever planned. Access to clean water can help keep you alert and healthy when you’re stuck, and food can help keep your energy up. Look for non-perishable foods that are calorie dense!
Winter Readiness Starts with Vehicle Maintenance
A poorly-maintained vehicle is hardly road-worthy, let alone ready to drive across icy highways and snow-covered backroads. Before you head to work, make sure you’ve handled these critical winter maintenance steps:
Check Your Tires – Many winter accidents can be avoided just by having reliable tires on the road. Check your tires before every trip, and make sure to replace them if they’re too bald to offer safe traction on winter roads.
Watch Your Fluids – Maximizing your visibility is critical to avoiding accidents and knowing how to traverse the road ahead. Never let your wiper fluid run out, and consider having an extra container on-hand to fill up if you need it.
Keep Your Maintenance Schedule – Everything from oil changes to tune-ups will help your vehicle operate exactly how it’s supposed to. A well-maintained vehicle will be more responsive and less prone to break-downs during the brutal winter months.
About Adrian Steel Upfits
Adrian Steel manufactures contractor-grade products and storage solutions including shelving, drawers, cabinets, partitions, ladder racks, aluminum toolboxes, and accessories. Beyond manufacturing, our dedicated Customer Care Team and a network of highly qualified distributors can have your vehicle upfitted at a location convenient for you – at the factory, out of dealer stock, at your place of business, or through a bailment pool.
Plus, upfits installed by an authorized Adrian Steel distributor are covered for a full 3 years or 36,000 miles.
Find a distributor near you to get started today!
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This blog was originally posted on Adrian Steel's blog.