Christmas is fast approaching and with that many of us will be travelling to visit family. Some close and some far away. We’re so busy making sure that we have all of our gifts packed, kids fed and all of the other stuff that goes with the holidays that we sometimes to forget to make sure our vehicle is prepared.
I remember many years ago, we used to go to my grandparents on Christmas day and on Christmas Day pretty much everything is closed including the gas stations. So my parents and I were driving home and we see this man hitchhiking on the side of the road - and it was a very wintery day. My dad decided to stop and ask what the guy needed. Apparently, he was out with his family, and they ran out of gas because nothing was open. His wife and child were in the mini van waiting for him to get help and they couldn’t even keep it running for heat. Needless to say, we helped him out as much as we could.
So, when you are getting ready for the holidays it might be worthwhile to give some thought to making sure your vehicle is prepared.
Gas: I know for me, if I’m getting ready to go somewhere that involves a fair amount of driving, I like to fill up the day before. I always like to start my trips with a full tank of gas and you just never know when a station you were planning to stop at may be closed…
Blankets: It’s always a good idea to have at least one blanket in your vehicle. You may need it for warmth if for some reason your vehicle breaks down.
Snacks: A box of granola bars could come in handy for the kids and you if you are stuck on the side of the road for an extended period of time.
Emergency Roadside kit: This should include all of the basics such as: Booster cables, first aid kit, screwdriver, tire pressure gauges, flashlight, batteries. You never know when you will need it. Often it will be when you have nothing. No one ever thinks they will be the one broke down on the side of the road.
Portable shovel: These are somewhat difficult to find, but doesn’t hurt to have in your trunk. If for some reason you get stuck on the side of the road and you don’t have a shovel you could also take one of yourvehicle floor mats out and put it either in front or back of a tire depending on which way you want to go. This will help with traction.
Windshield washer fluid: This is a no-brainer to have in your vehicle and yet many people seem to run out. Have you ever run out and either had to pull over on the side of the road to put snow on your windshield or gotten close to the back of a transport truck to get the spray from their rear wheels to help clean the windshield? If you can’t see where you are going then that’s kind of a problem!
Be safe over the holidays and make sure you aren’t one of those people stranded on the side of the road.
Race car driver, educator, safety advocate, TV personality, Kelly Williams started racing cars at 17 years old and continued to race for 15 years. Now she works in the automotive industry, teaching women about taking care of their vehicles. She also teaches performance driver training with BMW as well as other manufacturers, keeps busy as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, hosts ladies' Car Care clinics across Canada, and has recently launched a new consumer website www.KellysGarage.ca
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