Turkeys and Dipping Mercury Mean Time for a Trunk Transformation!

Bloomington, Ill., (Nov. 13, 2015) – Thanksgiving is just two weeks away, and along with the increased holiday travel, turkey and all the trimmings, comes the potential for colder temperatures and the need for a “trunk transformation.” Take some time to rid your trunk of “junk” and load the items you’ll need in the event of a roadside emergency. (Spanish)

Over 70 percent of U.S. roads are located in regions that receive more than five inches average snowfall annually, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration. But don’t forget warmer climates can experience unexpected winter weather, too. In January 2014 snow and ice crippled the city of Atlanta and trapped thousands of motorists overnight on roads and highways. No matter where you live, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. Unusually low temperatures can occur in any part of the country, which may result in black ice or slick roadways. Transform your trunk by getting rid of the junk and then gathering these recommended items. Store them in a bag, box or tub with a lid to prevent them from becoming projectiles in the event of a sudden stop, especially in vehicles with an open cargo area, like SUVs or pick-up trucks. This will also keep everything together, making your emergency supplies easy to find when you need them. Suggested trunk transformation items:

  • Hazard triangle (with reflectors) or road flares
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables or small battery charger
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Spare tire (make sure jack and lug wrench are in vehicle)
  • Tow strap
  • Blankets and extra warm clothing
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Road salt or cat litter to help with tire traction
  • Brightly colored flag or “Help” sign
  • Flashlight (with working batteries), matches or lighter
  • Tarp for sitting or kneeling in the snow for exterior work like a tire change
  • Small tool kit or multi-tool
  • Duct tape – for temporary fixes
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Crucial medication

If you’re ahead of the game and already travel with an emergency kit, take inventory of your items to be sure everything is still working well, such as flashlight batteries. Check whether any food or medications may have expired. This is great information to share with new teen drivers. In a recent State Farm survey*, less than 40 percent of teen drivers reported having many of the necessary items for safe winter driving in their vehicle’s trunk or cargo area. It is important to let them help you assemble your roadside emergency kit, discussing how items might be used, and make one for each family vehicle. Don’t forget to practice driving in winter weather with teens, helping them to gain experience and confidence.


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