When you drive during the winter, whether it's during extreme cold or snowy conditions or not, having a well stocked winter driving survival kit could save your life.

Winter provides plenty of driving challenges, so the Minnesota Department of Transportation has several tips to help you travel safely.

One important thing to do is to secure a container with a plastic cover and use it to store the following items in your vehicle:

  • Small candles and matches
  • Small, sharp knife and plastic spoons
  • Red bandanna or cloth
  • Pencil and paper
  • Large plastic garbage bag
  • Safety pins
  • Whistle
  • Snacks such as raisins, health or protein bars, hard candy, canned meat or soups
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
  • Plastic flashlight and spare batteries.  Make sure to reverse batteries in the flashlight to avoid accidental switching and burnout and warm the batteries before using them if you can.

You'll want to store the items inside your vehicle and not in the trunk, in case the trunk gets jammed or frozen shut.

Having warm blankets or even a winter sleeping bag is also important and you can keep them easily in your backseat.

Also, when extreme conditions occur and you have no choice but to travel, make sure to let others know your travel time and the route you will be taking so that they'll know where to look should an accident or mechanical failure occur.

Click the link below for MnDOT's Winter Driving Tips brochure, which has a lot of terrific information that you can share with your loved ones.