Ottawa, Ontario – More than six out of 10 Canadians could be in trouble if they were stranded while driving in winter, according to a new study by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

Only 36 per cent of those surveyed carry a winter driving kit, which includes flares, warm blankets and other essentials to help in case of a winter driving mishap.

“The absence of a winter driving kit tells us people aren’t as prepared as they should be,” said Jeff Walker, CAA’s vice-president of public affairs. “Winter driving kits help make sure an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a tragedy.”

The same poll did find some positive news, with 80 per cent of respondents reporting that they drive more carefully in winter, 63 per cent regularly check their windshield washer fluid, and 76 per cent leave extra time for travelling to account for road conditions.

CAA recommends that all drivers carry a winter kit, including warm gloves, toque, boots, a blanket or extra clothing, a bag of sand or kitty litter, a small shovel, ice scraper and/or snow brush, extra windshield washer fluid, candy or chocolate bars, a first-aid kit, a local hard copy map (not just a GPS unit), flashlight and batteries, flares, waterproof matches and battery jumper cables.

Traveller should also carry a fully-charged cell phone and let others know of the travel itinerary, route and expected arrival time.

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