Let’s face it. Driving in the wintertime is not enjoyable. With the sleet, slush, black ice, low visibility, and overall treacherous road conditions, it’s not the time for taking the scenic route or appreciating the sights. Gone are the days of sweaty back syndrome. Now, you’re driving in a frozen tundra on wheels. And while we love older cars, many of them aren’t as equipped to handle winter driving as newer models. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of 9 items that will help make winter driving tolerable.
Heated Ice Scraper
We’ve all done it at some point, taken the “peep hole” shortcut to cleaning our frosted up car windows. Admit it. Not sure what we’re talking about? The peep hole is when you clean the tiniest of spots, one just big enough to see out the window and get you on the road. Well Peeping Tom, it’s time to put an end to the battle between your windshield and the ice once and for all. For less than $20 you can purchase a heated ice scraper. These electric scrapers simply plug into a standard car lighter jack, heating and clearing away ice quickly and easily, making driving in the wintertime much safer.
Bonus: If you’d rather defeat ice with Wampa power instead of manpower, this one is for you. It’s a Star Wars themed Ice Scraper Mitt.
Remote Starter System
When your vehicle sits out in the bitter cold all night, by morning the interior reaches igloo status. Don’t wait inside your car while it heating up. The alternative isn’t much better; letting your car run for twenty minutes while it sits unlocked. Not ideal. A remote car starter allows you to turn your car on and off from the comfort of your home or office. Worried about vehicle safety? Not to worry. Some models of automatic car starters are activated while your doors are still locked, so your vehicle stays protected. While a remote starter system can be a pricey investment ($200+ and installation), depending on how long you keep your vehicle and the climate you live in, this can be a great investment. Add this to the list of ridiculously awesome gifts for car enthusiasts.
Heated Seat Cushions
Not everyone can afford the wonderful upgrades that many new cars come equipped with; backup cameras, navigation, heated seats, etc. That’s what’s great about the auto aftermarket. You can purchase a heated seat cushion for under $30. Some models even feature a massage function! Drive in ultimate comfort with heat, massage and lumbar support all in one. Just like the ice scrapers, these operate on 12V of DC power in your vehicle. Easily portable, you can even transfer it between vehicles or bring to the office or enjoy it at home.
Heated Wiper Blades
Are you seeing a theme yet? It turns out there are a lot of ways you can heat up your car for that morning commute. While more expensive than electric ice scrapers, heated wiper blades prevent ice and snow buildup for better vision while you’re driving. With these bad boys you’ll never worry about getting caught in a storm again.
USB and 12V Heated Mug
Here’s another item to help heat up your drive, and your coffee: the heated mug. Is there anything worse than having a nice hot cup of coffee get cold when driving? No! That’s why a heated mug is a perfect gadget to have this winter. We really like this mug from Think Geek. It evokes a nostalgic feeling that comes with 60’s hot rod muscle cars. Not a bad deal for $25, huh?
Sleet, hail, and snow are a breeze to be rid of with a winter windshield cover. Keep your windshield clear and ice-free without the need to scrape. For less than $15 you can have a clean windshield. These are easy to use and require nothing more than you remembering to pop one on before the next snow storm. Simply roll it up and store in your trunk or garage. Looking for a more premium shade? Check out the custom fit Intro-Tech Winter Snow Shades.
We don’t know what’s worse: the pain from slipping on an icy sidewalk or the embarrassment you’ll inevitably face when the video goes viral. To avoid the embarrassment, why not try one of these traction devices? Snow and ice shoe grips act as cleats that stretch on under shoes, high heels, or boots to improve traction and safety on ice and snow with ground-gripping steel studs.
Commuting can be an extremely stressful and frustrating experience when you don’t have the added obstacles that come with inclement winter weather. With accidents on the rise due to slippery road conditions, avoiding delays becomes a daily struggle in the winter months. Do yourself a favor and download a free traffic app like Waze or Beat the Traffic from the Google Play or iTunes Store. These apps give you the latest, up-to-date traffic news straight to your phone. See problem areas on a live road map, so you can check your commute before you set off.
Winter Roadside Emergency Kit
Most car owners keep some type of roadside emergency kit in their car, but do you have a winterized version? You can purchase kits at most auto and mass retailers ranging from $25 to $100+. Why not make your own? This is a great way to save some cash and create a customized kit that fits your winter needs. If you take the DIY route, here’s a great list of emergency essentials to get you started.