Going into Williston last week I learned the importance of being prepared to drive in these harsh winter conditions. We’ve probably all heard the commercials that talk about carrying a preparedness kit in your car, just in case you run out of gas or break down in winter. Well, if you’re like me you probably shoved a few extra blankets and a box of crackers in your car and called it good.
So, on this incredibly chilly morning of -34 degrees F, I was running low on gas. I passed more than one gas station thinking I’d be fine, there always seems to be just enough to get there, right? As I was passing the third gas station (by this time I had warmed up enough to brave the weather) I decided to turn around and go back to it. Suddenly right there in the center turn-around lane my car was done it had given up leaving me to think fast or freeze to death! I thanked God as a nice looking woman pulled up behind waiting for me to make the turn. Seeing as I wasn’t going anywhere I hopped out to ask for a lift to the gas station. She was very obliging and I will always be grateful to her for spending time to help me out and for not kid-napping my baby! I was also grateful to have only one child with me at this time sleeping snugly in her car seat oblivious of any danger.
Needless to say, I felt like a damsel in distress. I must have looked like it too because some nice guy in the station paid five bucks for my gas without me knowing! I’m not sure how he knew that I’d have to come back inside to prepay, but when I did the attendant let me know that someone had already paid. So thank you whoever you are, sometimes the kindness of strangers can renew peoples’ hope in mankind.
When we finally got back to my poor car sitting in the middle of the highway I was already pretty frozen from filling up the gas can. By the time I had figured out how to use the infernal thing and fill up the tank my fingers were literally frost bitten! Now I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced frost bite but it feels like someone took a hammer to my fingers and left them sitting on dry ice.
Once it was all said and done and I was back on the road this time with a full tank of gas, I realized that everything could have gone much, much worse and if it had what would I do? How would I stay warm if I had to wait for help? All of these thoughts started to flood my mind and I remember the safety tips I had heard on the radio a couple of years ago. I realized that the few extra things you carry around in your car during the winter months could save your life.
Here are some safety tips for driving in winter: from the NDDOT Winter Car Care
- Always carry at least three extra big blankets.
- Extra clothing such as; sweaters, warm gloves, hats, ski mask, boots.
- Water and a metal container suitable for melting ice or snow to be used for drinking water.
- A radio and flashlight with extra batteries.
- Food, such as hard candy, jellybeans, raisins, nuts, candy bars, dehydrated fruit, and jerky.
- Something to read to help keep you awake.
- A folding cup, toilet tissue.
- Bright red or orange cloth and whistle to signal help.
- Nylon rope.
- Big Candle with matches
- Carry repair tools such as pliers, wrenches, screw drivers, pocket knife.
- Carry tire chains, booster cables, tow rope, gas line antifreeze, and container of sand.
- Also carry a cell phone.
- Let someone know when you depart, your route, and expected arrival time.
- Dress according to weather conditions.
- Keep dry and wear clothing in layers.
- And my favorite do not leave without a full fuel tank!
Hope this was helpful, please comment below if you have any other thoughts on the subject.