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As the holiday season approaches, drivers find themselves at risk in more ways than one. Families visiting relatives over Christmas and Thanksgiving drastically increases the amount of traffic. An excessive amount of shoppers make driving through parking lots more dangerous and tedious. Multiple motorists are more prone to road rage with vehicles going slower and taking up more space.

However, the element that most Pennsylvanians have the most difficult time preparing for is the unpredictable weather. Temperatures can drop in an instant, snow may or may not come out of the sky and there may be icy roads that appear normal to the standard driver. In 2017, December had the most damaged cars out of the state with nearly 12,600 crashes. Whether you find yourself the victim of a crash or your vehicle has a hard time starting up, you should know what to keep in your car in the event of an emergency to survive in the cold.

Jumper cables

If you did not have these in your car before, you certainly should have them now. Even though excessive heat in the summer actually does more damage to your car’s battery, winter is the most common time for them to die. This is because cold temperatures result in thicker motor oil and your car is busier with more functions such as heating or defrosting.

If you find your car battery not starting up, ask a relative or a nearby motorist to help you get another vehicle you can hook up the cables to. Make sure you know how to properly jump start your car in the event of an emergency. Failure to do so could result in electric shock or further damage to your vehicle.

Snow and ice brush

As with any other state, Pennsylvania has laws in place to enforce residents to clear their vehicles of snow and ice. It is illegal to have either covering the windshield or side windows covered in either substance while driving. If snow or ice falls from a resident’s car and hits another vehicle, they will receive a fine between $200 to $1,000 in addition to the potential lawsuit they face.

If the problem lies more with the ice below your car’s tires instead of your windshield, a bag of sand or salt could help with some of the traction to get your vehicle the proper start it needs.

Survival accessories

If you find yourself in a crash during the winter, it may take some time for emergency responders to arrive on the scene with the harsh conditions. In addition to the first aid kit you should already have in your car, make sure to also have some blankets ready in your trunk along with some food and water to keep yourself warm, nourished and hydrated until the authorities arrive. It takes less than an hour to develop frostbite or hypothermia in frigid temperatures, so you need to make efforts to keep yourself as warm as you can if your car will not start up.

December can be one of the most dangerous months of the year in Pennsylvania thanks to motorists who do not adjust to the shifting weather. The accident you could end up in is as unpredictable as the snowfall, so you need to prepare your vehicle for any horrific outcome. After surviving the physical damages, a personal injury attorney can aid you in recovering from the financial damages you received in the ordeal.