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Five Essential Items to Have in Your Car During Winter

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Five Essential Items to Have in Your Car During Winter

Mar 03, 2015
It’s often in the news during winter: people getting stuck in snow banks or stranded on highways. To survive such an ordeal – or avoid one altogether – consider putting these five items in your car. Dr. Kyle Bradford Jones discusses the benefits of each item and how they can be of use to you in case of an emergency.

Episode Transcript

Interviewer: As winter is approaching there might be things that you want to put in your car that you didn't really think about. Coming up next, we're going to tell you what those five things are, on The Scope.

Announcer: Medical news and research from University of Utah physicians and specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You're listening to The Scope.

Interviewer: Today we're talking with Dr. Kyle Bradford Jones, a family physician with the University of Utah, and he's going to tell us the five things that you should keep in your car with you during the winter time. So, Dr. Jones, Number 5?

Dr. Jones: A first aid kit. Just a small one. It doesn't have to include a lot of stuff, but some basic bandages, some basic antibiotic ointment. If you have problems with your car in the winter and you get stuck in the snow, sometimes you get some of those minor injuries that the first aid kit can really help out with.

Interviewer: Really quickly, what is included in those first aid kits?

Dr. Jones: Mostly small bandages, some antibiotic ointment, maybe some Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Just some very basic things that you can address, small things that you need to.

Interviewer: Okay, Number 4?

Dr. Jones: Number 4 is lights, whether it's flash lights, whether it's something you can put on the road around your car. If you're broken down or you're stuck in a snow bank and it's at night, oftentimes passing motorists won't be able to see you. So it's for your safety, as well as to try to flag them down to get some help.

Interviewer: Kind of like the SOS sign.

Dr. Jones: Exactly.

Interviewer: All right. Number 3?

Dr. Jones: Including some water, some snacks, especially if you have kids in the car that are traveling with you, you want to make sure that you have something like that if you're stuck for a while.

Interviewer: All right. Five things to keep in your car. Number 2?

Dr. Jones: One of the most important things, a shovel, obviously. If you get stuck in a snow bank, you want to be able to shovel out. Another thing along those lines is maybe considering having a sandbag in your trunk. Two reasons for that. If you have a front wheel drive car, putting that weight in the back can help you get out of the snow easier.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Dr. Jones: But also, if you need to, you can pour some of that sand on the snow which gives a little more friction to help you drive out.

Interviewer: I did not think about that. This is good that we're having this conversation. All right. Number 1?

Dr. Jones: Something to keep warm. Obviously coats, blankets, hats, gloves, anything. If you're stuck out there, you obviously want to make sure that you're staying warm.

Interviewer: Any other final tips about preparing for winter in case your car breaks down?

Dr. Jones: Just remember that happens a lot in Utah with the snow bank. There are a few things you can keep in your car that can really help you out if you're in a pinch like that.

Announcer: We're your daily dose of science, conversation, medicine. This is The Scope. University of Utah Health Sciences Radio.