Winter Car Essentials That Could Save Your Life

Do a search for "winter driving" on Google and you'll see a lot of the same, familiar tips: Keep an extra blanket in the car, along with a hat and gloves. Make sure you have a working flashlight. Kitty litter can be used to give you traction if your car gets stuck in the snow, and some beef jerky or another snack will give you some much-needed calories if you are trapped in your car. Remember to check your tire pressure (as well as fluids, belts, and more) to keep you safe during the cold weather months. But we've found three additional winter car essentials that you might not have thought about. These items don't immediately stand out as winter road trip essentials, but they can keep you aware, connected, and traveling safely to your destination.


Smart Dash Cams


A dash cam might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're thinking about winter driving essentials, but when it's connected to the Cobra community, a smart dash cam can keep you alert and informed. Our dash cams connect to the Drive Smarter® app, which provides you with real-time alerts on everything from red light cameras and traffic snarls to dangerous road conditions and hazards that could make your planned route unsafe. With over 100 million shared alerts a year from the community, the Drive Smarter app makes a smart dash cam a true winter car essential.



Access to the Drive Smarter community isn't the only benefit of a smart dash cam that could save your life – Mayday Notification alerts are an essential safety feature any time of year. Cobra smart dash cams have a G-sensor inside that can detect a sudden stop, as in the case of an accident. The camera itself will lock video of the moment, safeguarding footage of the event. In cases of a severe accident, the Mayday alert will trigger, automatically sending a text message or email to a previously selected individual if the driver is not responsive. This winter road trip essential can reach out for help even when you are not able to help yourself.


CB Radios


Everyone has a smart phone these days, you might think, so what makes a CB radio necessary at all – let alone a winter car essential? While heavy snow can hamper wireless signals of all types, including those from both phones and CB radios, cell phones rely on towers to send and receive signals. If those towers lose power, then your phone isn't connecting to anyone; cell towers do have generators and backup batteries, but they aren't guaranteed to work. Plus, when bad weather really hits, high call volume can overwhelm the network, preventing you from making a call – maybe when you most need to.



With a CB radio, you have more communication options with the surrounding community. Using CB emergency channel 9, you can quickly reach out to emergency responders in your immediate area instead of calling someone back home and asking them for help. CB radios can also provide you with valuable information about weather and road conditions, provided by other drivers in the area. Install a CB radio with NOAA weather alerts, and you'll stay up to date on weather changes no matter where you travel.


Jump Starters


Unlike the first two winter car essentials on this list, jumper cables are probably already on your winter driving checklist. But while jumper cables are a life-saving tool to keep in your car, we recommend having a jump starter as well. If you're stuck on the side on a lonely winter road, after all, who knows when another car will come along to give you a jump? Safe and reliable, jump starters are battery-powered and portable and have enough juice for several jumps. Compact and made to go where you go, these jump starters include added benefits like USB charging for portable devices, built-in emergency flashlights, and all-weather performance, depending on the model. No matter which type you choose, jump starters are a winter road trip essential that you shouldn't leave home without.



Visit our Travel, Commuting, and Road Trip Essentials page to learn more about other products that can keep you safe on the road.