DAILY NEWS Jan 28, 2013 2:29 PM - 0 comments

Few motorists carry necessary emergency supplies in their trunks: survey

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2013-01-28

Having a well-stocked trunk is critically important should weather leave motorists stranded, sometimes for hours, but very few drivers are properly prepared, notes a new survey from State Farm.

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The survey by State Farm and KRC Researcher in the United States found that only one in 10 drivers polled there keep necessary roadside emergency supplies in their vehicle, notes a statement released last week by State Farm, the fourth largest auto insurance provider and seventh largest property and casualty insurer in Canada. The survey offers input from 1,010 U.S. adults, 18 and older, who were interviewed by phone between Dec. 6 and 9, 2012.

Preparedness was low despite cold weather months, when inclement weather is more common, offering snow, ice, poor visibility and slick roads that can prove treacherous and strand motorists in their vehicles.

Survey results indicate more than 60% of polled drivers had some sort of non-emergency supplies, while 99% had at least one emergency supply in their vehicles. Just 9% of those taking part in the poll carried all the essential emergency roadside supplies, including jumper cables, spare tire, hazard triangle/road flares, flashlight, first aid kit, water and a blanket.

Available room may have been a factor in preparedness, with sedan drivers being less likely to carry emergency supplies than SUV and truck owners, State Farm reports.

“These new findings highlight the importance of having the right emergency equipment so people can safely get back on the road faster,” Robert Medved, a safety expert with the company, notes in the statement.

Medved recommends that drivers check at least twice yearly to ensure equipment is in working order, including that spare tires are properly inflated, first-aid supplies are current, other supplies are fully stocked, and the cell phone charger is compatible with either a power outlet or an USB port in the car.

As of early afternoon Monday, Environment Canada had weather warnings in place for most provinces and territories.

In British Columbia, for example, there were extreme wind chill values for the North Peace River area, measuring minus 40 degrees Celsius and expected to continue through Tuesday morning. “Strong northerly winds have brought a bitterly cold Arctic air mass into the British Columbia Peace River region,” notes an advisory from Environment Canada. “Winds will begin to ease and temperatures will begin to moderate by Tuesday afternoon.”

In the Parent – Gouin Reservoir area of Quebec, a freezing rain warning was issued, with 3 to 5 mm expected over Tuesday afternoon and evening.

“A Colorado low pressure system and its warm front are moving toward the province of Quebec while intensifying. An area of freezing rain associated with this warm front will move into the Outaouais region Tuesday afternoon to reach the greater Montréal region in the evening.”

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