While in a perfect world we’d never face any on-road emergencies, that simply isn’t the case. So what can you do when you’re faced with an emergency, especially one in the cold of winter? The Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles sold at Golden Mile Chrysler are all built to best withstand accidents—or to avoid them completely—but something as simple as building an emergency winter vehicle kit could mean the difference between being stuck in a dangerous situation, or having the tools to escape unscathed. Read on, as we outline how you can build a winter emergency vehicle kit, as well as some tips on what to do in the event of an emergency or an accident.

What to put in your vehicle’s winter emergency kit

Being prepared is an easy way to avoid the anxiety that can come with winter driving, especially when the weather gets truly nasty (or you’re venturing further from home than usual). The following list of items will come in handy in the event that you find yourself laid up off the road for any extended period of time.

  • Emergency warm clothing (hats, gloves, socks)
  • Emergency blanket(s)
  • Hand warmers
  • Ice scraper/snow brush
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Jumper cables
  • First aid kit
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food items
  • A few select tools (or a multi-tool)
  • Road flares/reflective triangles

Putting together a small duffle bag containing these items and leaving it in your trunk is an easy way to be prepared for emergencies in inclement weather. If you drive a smaller vehicle without 4WD or AWD, you might even be tempted to add a small, telescopic avalanche shovel to help you dig your way out if you were to get stuck in the snow.

For those that drive a larger vehicle with more storage space, or who plan on driving through more remote areas where calling for help is a bit more difficult, you can supplement your winter emergency kit with the following items.

  • Bagged sand (or non-clumping cat litter)
  • Telescopic avalanche/folding snow shovel
  • A sleeping bag
  • Winter boots
  • Tow straps
  • Tire chains

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list when it comes to items you can pack for an on-road emergency. Depending on the amount of storage space in your vehicle, or your individual needs, there are many other items you can add to your vehicle’s winter emergency kit.

What to do in the event of an emergency

An on-road emergency, such as sliding off the road, can be a frightening experience. However, your best course of action is to stay calm. By having a well-stocked winter emergency kit in your vehicle, you’re already prepared to handle your situation, though it's also important to remember the following steps:

Remain calm: first and foremost, it’s incredibly important that you remain collected throughout the entire situation. Take a moment to calm yourself by taking deep breaths, and then ensure you’re approaching any problems with a level head.

Check on your passengers: ensure that no one is injured or requires immediate medical attention, and if multiple vehicles were involved check on them as well.

Call for help: in the event that there is an injury, or medical assistance required, contact 911 as quickly as possible. It’s important to stay calm and answer the questions they ask, as well as providing them with as accurate an idea of your location as possible. Thanks to the advanced infotainment systems found in every Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram vehicle, such as Uconnect 5, you’ll also have access to remote safety services through your vehicle’s infotainment system—though some services are subscription based.

Stay safe: Whether you’re on the road or off it, it’s important to stay safe in an emergency. This means staying as far away from the road as possible if possible, as well as setting up the reflective triangles found in your winter emergency kit.

Staying safe during winter doesn’t have to be a daunting task, as there are several small steps you can take to keep your vehicle performing its best during the toughest weather. It all starts with packing an emergency winter vehicle kit like the one detailed above. Otherwise, ensuring that your vehicle has a proper set of winter tires and has been prepared for winter are two easy ways to add confidence to your winter commute.

To learn more about how you can get your vehicle in winter-ready condition, or any other tips and tricks related to winter driving, simply give us a call or swing on by Golden Mile Chrysler—the home of the Swinging Lady—to enjoy the best automotive service and customer service in the Greater Toronto Area!