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Winter isn't just coming, it's already here in many places, and drivers aren't taking too much time to appreciate the change in seasons.
AAA reports that as we reach the end of 2014, national gas prices have dipped below $3 per gallon for the first time since December 2010, and drivers are taking advantage of the low prices to continue hitting the road.
We heartily support Americans exploring our country in winter, but drivers should probably put these five things in their cars first:
1. Snow Chains.
Snow chains add extra traction to a vehicle's tires to allow drivers to more easily travel in snowy or icy conditions. Unlike snow tires, snow chains can be fairly easily installed by a driver when winter weather hits, and they can be picked up for as low as $40. In most states, snow chains are just a good idea, but in states like California, they may be required by law in snowy areas.
Winter days are shorter, which means the odds have increased that you'll have car trouble at night. Make sure you keep a working flashlight in your car to help you fix flats or check damage in the pitch black. Headlamps may make you look like a dork, but they'll free up for hands to change a tire in the dark.
3. Car Phone Charger.
Since one of the first things you'll need to do after an accident is to call 911, you need to make sure your phone is charged. That involves a car phone charger... and that drivers actually use them.
4. Ice Scraper.
Keeping your windshield and your headlights unobstructed is your legal responsibility, so if they're iced over, you need something to free them from their icy prison. Keeping a small plastic ice scraper in your car will help you drive safer even when the weather outside is frightful.
5. Jumper Cables.
Cars are hard enough to start when it's cold out, but a dead battery can make it pretty much impossible. You shouldn't have to rely on other drivers to have jumper cables, but you may need to convince one of them to stop and help you.
For more hints on how to stay safe in your car this winter, check out FindLaw's section on Car Accidents.