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4 Tips To Plan A Safe Winter Road Trip

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Winter is undoubtedly one of the most hazardous times of the year to travel. While winter road trips can be a lot of fun, it's important to remain cautious and aware, especially when driving over mountainous roads or in snowy areas. It's also crucial to remember that severe storms may impact how quickly roadside assistance can arrive to help if you run into trouble. 

Of course, these challenges are no reason to put off an exciting vacation or ski trip, but it's important to keep them in mind before you head out on the road. These four tips will help you prepare for your trip and keep you safe should you find yourself stuck on the side of the road.

1. Don't Ignore the Essentials

You probably know you should bring along some extra supplies if you're traveling deep into the mountains, but a winter essentials kit is still a good idea for more urban travel. Heavy snowstorms can often overwhelm towing companies, so help may take longer than expected, even in populated areas. An emergency car kit will help keep you safe while you wait for a tow truck to arrive.

2. Plan Your Route Ahead

It's always a good idea to plan any long trip in advance and have some backup directions printed on paper. However, planning is particularly important when traveling through cold or snowy areas. Make sure you have a solid idea of where you're going, where you can stop for gas or supplies, and alternate routes should you encounter road closures due to snow or ice.

3. Don't Take Risks

Modern vehicles tend to be highly capable in the snow but remember that all-wheel drive does little to help you stop or turn your vehicle in inclement conditions. While the extra drive wheels can stop you from getting stuck, they won't necessarily stop you from sliding into a ditch. Even a good set of snow tires is no guarantee, although they can help quite a bit.

Stay aware of the weather and pay close attention to advisories about changing conditions or heavy snowfall. If you're going to be driving through severe and snowy weather, it's often better to wait out the storm and continue after the plows clear the roads.

4. Have a Roadside Assistance Plan

Don't wait until you're stuck on the side of the road to figure out who you should call for help. If you don't already have one, consider signing up for a national roadside assistance plan or one that covers your intended area of travel. At a minimum, research a few local companies that cover any of the more treacherous parts of your route.

There's no guarantee that you'll have strong data service if you get stuck, so having these numbers on hand can save time and frustration. Most importantly, they'll allow you to call for help quickly so you can minimize the time you spend stuck in the snow.

Contact a local roadside assistance service to learn more.