Winter Driving Preparedness Kit: What you need to stay safe out there

When Old Man Winter arrives in the Pacific Northwest, he’s wearing a parka, snowshoes, sunglasses, a raincoat, thermals, galoshes, rain boots, an umbrella …

Point being: Aside from it being wet, you never really know what to expect when the wintry season kicks in, especially west of the Cascades. It can be a tumultuous time, filled with raging atmospheric disturbances that dump snow in the mountains, rain in the cities, and ice storms along the Willamette Valley floor — all at the same time and from the same storm!

As a Pacific Northwesterner, chances are your closet is stocked with all manner of winter gear so that you always have what you need. Just as Old Man Winter arrives ready to stir things up, we PNWers understand that we have to prepare for just about anything.

Preparing for Winter Roads

Chappelle’s Towing wants our friends and neighbors to have a fun, adventurous — and safe! — winter. That’s why we always like to remind everybody of a few simple precautions we can take when we’re out there on the road.

Below you’ll find our go-to list of things each of us should carry in our vehicles during the winter months. Think of it as a Winter Driving Preparedness Kit.

For those times when you’re stranded, be sure to have our number handy: 360-696-1710. Among other services, we offer roadside assistance that’s the absolute best in the region.

Contact Chappelle’s Towing if you’re stuck out there this winter or if you have any questions about how best to prepare for seasonal driving.

Winter Road Conditions

A lot can happen out there on the highways and byways of the PNW:

  • Roads can freeze, causing buckling and/or potholes (often both!) as the asphalt itself expands and contracts with fluctuations in the temperature.
  • Black ice can form on the roads. This phenomenon can be extremely dangerous since the road will often appear merely wet rather than frozen, causing incautious drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
  • Rain can become snow
  • Trees and branches can tumble into the street when they become overloaded with snow or ice and the ground below them becomes oversaturated with rain.
  • Visibility can be reduced. Snowy, icy, rainy, foggy weather can make it difficult or even impossible to see where you’re going.

Winter Driving Preparedness Kit

Please note: This is not an all-inclusive list, but everybody should have at least the following items in their vehicles, especially during winter and when driving long distances or over mountainous terrain.

  • Tire chains
  • Bottled water (enough for several days for each person in the vehicle)
  • Nonperishable food
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire
  • Tire fix kit
  • Windshield de-icer (or ice scraper)
  • Salt or kitty litter (to help get your vehicle moving on slippery terrain)
  • Blankets
  • First-aid kit
  • Hazard triangle/flares
  • Safety vests
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Cell phone charger
  • Shovel

Chappelle’s Towing

Driving on winter roads can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating or scary. Simply follow the precautions outlined above, reduce your speed, and you’ll be fine.

For those times when you need roadside assistance, however, remember to keep the Chappelle’s Towing phone number close at hand: 360-310-4803.

Chappelle’s Towing has served the greater Vancouver, Washington, area since 1981. We guarantee 24-hour, damage-free towing, and we also provide accident scene services and winching.

We’re also a preferred provider/contractor for the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Have fun exploring this winter!

Be safe.

Be prepared.

And if you run into trouble, contact Chappelle’s Towing.

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