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What's in your winter emergency car kit? , Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworths shares…

Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…A car break down or accident is never good, but it is worse during the winter months. A few inexpensive items kept in your car during winter months can help increase your safety and the safety of your loved ones. It is always wise to have an emergency kit in your car in case you ever need it. I came across some information on a website dedicated to cars and car safety, written by Aaron Gold. I thought I would share it with you as a reminder to us all as we head into the colder winter months here in Ottawa. 

In the event of an emergency…

1. Get assistance !

Roadside assistance: Most new cars include a roadside assistance program which will provide towing if your car breaks down. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is  probably the best-known and most reliable third-party roadside assistance program in Canada.

Mobile phone and car charger: If you don’t have a mobile phone, and if you can, buy an inexpensive pre-paid unit to keep in your car so you can call for assistance. Make sure you have a car charger; some phones can also be charged from your car’s USB port.

OnStar: On many new cars, the OnStar system can get a live operator on the phone with the press of a button, and will automatically summon help if your car’s airbags deploy. Don’t forget, OnStar relies on the vehicle electrical system, so carry a cell phone as a backup.

2. Stay safe !

Emergency flares and/or hazard triangles: Winter accidents often result in damage to your car’s taillights, which means your hazard flashers will not work. In a snowstorm, other cars may not see your car until it’s too late to avoid it. Set out flares or hazard triangles to warn cars and avoid a second collision. If your car goes off the road in deeper snow, these items can also help emergency services find you and your vehicle.

First aid kit – Bad weather may delay emergency workers, so it’s a good idea to carry a basic first aid kit.

Small LED flashlight: Don’t rely on the vehicle’s electrical system for light — if it’s working, LEAVE IT-you want to conserve the car’s battery as long as possible. LED flashlights use much less energy than regular incandescent flashlights, making them a great choice for your emergency kit. The Mini Maglite LED is more expensive than many small flashlights, but its construction makes it well worth the price.

3. Stay warm

Emergency blanket: Cars use the engine to produce heat, so if the engine breaks, so does the heater. Even if the engine is working – say, after a car accident – running it can be dangerous, because if the exhaust system has rust holes or damage, fatal exhaust fumes can creep back into the passenger compartment. Besides, your car may not be the safest place to be in an emergency. Emergency blankets are small, light and cheap. Buy extras if you frequently travel with passengers.

Ski hats: Experts say that 30 to 40 % of body heat can be lost through the head. Carry a few inexpensive winter hats, large enough to cover the ears.

4. Keep busy !

Children’s books or games: If you travel with children, keep a few emergency children’s activities stowed away to fight boredom and keep the kids occupied while you wait for rescue.  

Non-perishable snacks: Munchies help pass the time and will keep your energy and morale up while you wait for rescue.

Where to carry your emergency kit?

The most logical place to store your emergency kit would be the trunk. The problem is if you’re in an accident that damages the rear end of the car, you may not be able to get the trunk open. Instead, carry your emergency kit in a small duffel bag stored in the passenger’s footwell, where it can be easily accessed by the driver . If your kit includes flares and you travel with children, store the flares in the trunk and keep a backup hazard triangle in the bag.

Most importantly , stay safe !!!

———————- The  Ottawa Injury Blog is written regularly by Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. Since 1999, David has been an Ottawa injury lawyer representing Ottawa accident victims and the families of accident victims who have lost a loved one in an Ontario accident. This blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury.  Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. If you have a question, feel free to call or email david@ottawainjury.ca  (613) 978-9549

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Ontario Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth, Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa

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