Winters in Michigan can get quite cold, to say the least. The average high temperature in January is 31 degrees, and the average low temperature doesn’t reach above 40 degrees until May typically.

People who have lived in Michigan for a long time understand that winters can be long and cold. It means Michiganders will use a lot of heat in their homes and in their cars during these months, and they’ll spend a lot of time cleaning off snow and ice from their vehicles before they drive.

Inclement winter weather is a major cause of winter emergencies, too. Between 2016 and 2020, the Michigan State Police says there were more than 200,000 crashes due to winter conditions. Those crashes resulted in 370 fatalities and more than 2,500 serious injuries.

Accidents happen at times, which is why they’re called accidents. If you are in one during the wintertime, you may be waiting on the side of the road for help longer than normal.

As such, it’s very important to make sure you’re prepared just in case. Here are some essential items you should keep in your car for a winter emergency.

Extra Clothing

You may not like to drive with extra clothing, especially if you’re able to warm your car up to a toasty and comfortable temperature before you get in it. Sometimes when you are in an accident, though, you won’t be able to sit in your car while you wait for help. If you run out of gas, your car might not even run.

That’s why one of the most important items you can have in your car for a winter emergency are extra layers of winter clothing. All drivers and passengers should have a heavy winter jacket, gloves, a winter hat and a scarf. 

Consider keeping a heavy blanket in your car as well, just in case you end up being stuck in a vehicle that must be turned off for an extended period of time. 

Warning Devices

Anytime you are involved in an accident or have an emergency on the road, it’s very important to ensure you get your vehicle off the road as best you can. Even if you can’t move your vehicle, it’s essential that you get yourself in a safe place.

In winter conditions especially, you should warn other drivers that you have been involved in an emergency situation. There are many different kinds of warning devices you can use to signal to other drivers that your car or debris are in the road, or close to it.

You should always turn on your vehicle’s flashers, if you can. But, also consider having reflectors and/or road flares that you can place behind your vehicle. This will alert other drivers and even emergency vehicles that you are there and need help, and will keep other drivers safe, too.


So many people rely on their cellphones as a source of light today that not many people carry an old-fashioned flashlight with them. This is a mistake for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, if you’re involved in a winter emergency, your cellphone can be put to much better use than as a flashlight. You’ll need it to report your emergency to first responders and to stay in touch with family and friends while you wait for help to arrive. 

You might need your cellphone to search for and contact towing services or anything else while you’re stranded.

Depending on your particular situation, you might be waiting for help for a while and might not be able to charge your phone. So, preserve every second of battery life by having a separate flashlight handy.

Second, regular flashlights are way more powerful than a cellphone. It’s much better to have a flashlight handy to help you navigate treacherous walkways as you look to get to safety and avoid other dangers such as broken glass or ditches.

First Aid Kit

Winter or not, it’s always a good idea to have a well-stocked First Aid kit with you when you’re driving. There are many relatively minor injuries that you can treat with a basic First Aid kit. Bandages, compresses and antibacterial creams are all essentials.

Other useful items in a First Aid kit include an emergency blanket, medical gloves, a thermometer and tweezers. All of these tools could prove to be useful if you’re been in a winter emergency.


It’s possible that you were involved in a winter emergency because of poor road conditions caused by snow and ice. If you’ve veered off of the main roadway into an embankment, you might be stuck in snow. 

In some of these situations, you might be able to get yourself out without needing the help of anyone else. This is the best-case scenario, as it would mean that you wouldn’t be stranded for a long period of time.

But, you won’t be able to get yourself out of these situations if you don’t have a snow shovel with you. There are plenty of compact snow shovels that will suffice for just this situation.

The shovels can easily fit in your vehicle’s trunk to use in case you need to dig your car tires out of snow. Some of these shovels even collapse to save room.

Work with a Trusted Insurance Agency

The better prepared you are, the more equipped you’ll be to handle any winter emergency situation you might find yourself in. Having all of the items listed above in your car will help you be prepared for any emergency you might find yourself in.

Another great way to be prepared for emergency situations is to work with a trusted auto insurance provider.

At Signature Insurance, we have been working with drivers in Michigan for years. We’re always here for all of our customers whenever they need our help, whether it’s the cold days of winter or the balmy days of summer.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you, and to get a free auto insurance quote.

Get insurance today!

At Signature Insurance we want to help you understand your insurance coverage options so you make the best decision.

Contact us at (586) 274-9600 and we’ll be happy to get quote for you from many of the top auto insurance companies or home insurance companies in Metro Detroit.