SPRINGFIELD, Mo.(KY3/KSPR) – You grab your hat, gloves, lace up your boots, and go out in the snow with no problems. However, you may be forgetting some crucial items in your car.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Sam Carpenter said drivers in Southwest Missouri are often not prepared to hit the road during wintry conditions. Carpenter also said Troopers see more crashes than usual this time of year. The high number of crashes combined with ill-prepared drivers can be disastrous. Carpenter said it doesn’t need to be that way. He reviewed some essential items drivers should keep in their cars during the winter season.

1. Have an ice scraper, snow-brush, and de-icer handy.
Although it may seem like a no brainier, many people forget their snow scrapers and de-icer every year. They are meant to help you, and other drivers, see on the road.

2. Keep a small shovel in the car for emergencies.
You never know what type of situation you may be in, it can help you dig out your vehicle in an emergency. Try to opt for a collapsible shovel that can easily fit in your trunk.

3. Have items that will create traction and/or weight if needed.
Kitty litter, sand, or carpet strips will give you the traction you need if stuck in snow or on ice. For rear-wheel-drive cars, you want to add sandbags to you trunk to help weigh down the back end.

4. Be sure to have jumper cables.
When temperatures drop, your vehicle may need a boost. Having a jumper or battery booster cables is useful to have in your trunk year-round.

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5. Keep warming items in your safety kit.
If you are in unforeseen circumstances, you want to stay warm. Drivers should keep blankets, warm clothing, hand and feet warmers in their cars. This provides extra warmth if you’re stranded and waiting for help.

6. Flashlights, portable chargers, and extra batteries are useful.
With it getting darker earlier, you don’t want to be without a power or a light source.

7. Have reflectors, bright color clothing, and distress signs.
If you are stuck and waiting for help, you want to be sure that you and your vehicle are visible and safe.

8. Have food and water in your car.
It would help if you packed non-perishable food and water in your car. You never know what situation you may be in, or for how long.





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