HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There’s no denying that the winter weather can be tough on your car, but more importantly, those messy roads can increase your risk of a car accident. In case of emergencies, it’s best that your car is prepped not only on its exterior, but its interior, too.

“If you and your car aren’t ready for this, make other plans now.”

Mike Sweeney
Traffic Safety Educator, AAA Hudson Valley

Getting stuck on the side of the road is certainly a possibility when there’s snowfall. So while it’s crucial to make sure you have snow tires on your car, Sweeney says it’s always best to keep a few essential items in your vehicle just incase.

“A lot of people like to carry a shovel and help dig themselves himself out. I always recommend either a reflective vest or something along that line,” Sweeney said. “You can pick up a inexpensive reflective vest at a hardware store. Warm coat, blanket, a good pair of boots pair or gloves: These things can be real lifesaver.”

Winter car essentials

While your windshield wiper fluid should be already full, Sweeney says it’s smart to keep an extra on hand along with jumper cables and other items to you may not normally think about.

“I think cat litter works better than sand because it’s a lot lighter and and it does the same thing you’re looking for—some sort of grip material that you can put under your tires,” Sweeney said. “The cat litter is a good thing. The first aid kit is it is certainly a good thing.”

Winter car essentials

Call volume in snowstorms can reach anywhere between of five to 700 a day. Sweeney says they recommend people stay with their vehicle and use it as shelter in case of emergency, but if you can flex your schedule a bit, you should take advantage of it.

“Try to avoid driving during the peak of the storm. And try to give the road crews a chance to help us all out by clearing the road instead of getting out there, getting stuck. And then you’re a hindrance to getting the roads clear,” Sweeney said.