Archive for 2016

The season for dents and dings.


How could this be? How could the season of joy and merriment also be the season of dents and dings?   I think we all know how frustrating it can be to drive around the holidays but several studies have shown that two of the four deadliest days on the road every year are December 23rd and 24th (July 3rd and 4th are the two deadliest). So how do holiday drivers get to this point? Let’s take a look.

According to a 2013 study by the University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety, the six day period that includes Christmas had 18% more auto accidents than the Thanksgiving period and 27% more than the days around New Year’s.  Here are the reasons:

*Drinking and driving. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis reported that about 40% of all fatalities during the Christmas holidays involve alcohol impairment. Of all the times to watch how much we drink, this is one of the biggest. Plan ahead to not be driving.

Santa Parking Tag

*Stress. The Holidays can be an exceptionally stressful time, especially close to Christmas Day. People running around trying to finish up shopping and sitting in traffic for long periods of time can try the patience of anyone. Impatience can lead to poor driving decisions or road rage. Calm down, give yourself more time to get things done and stay off the roads during the last couple of days before Christmas.

* Poor vehicle maintenance. Believe it or not people put off important auto maintenance until after the New Year in order to have more money for Christmas. This can cause a number of problems, including breaking down and becoming a liability on the side of the road. Give a gift to yourself and get that work done before the holidays.

Plan ahead seems to be the answer to many of the issues related to Christmas holiday auto accidents. Remember that parking lots will be full so go early and give yourself time to park farther away and walk. Arrange that taxi or Uber on nights you know the partying will be excessive (check out this site Get your shopping done before those final days and stay off the crowded roads when they become the most dangerous. And always make sure your car maintenance is up to date.

If you just have to get on the roads wait until Christmas Day. According to the University of Alabama study professor David Brown, “Nobody’s out there on the roads. It’s a very safe day. Even Christmas Eve is not as bad, because with the stores closing up early, as many of them do, there’s a cessation of shopping. “

And if you should happen to get a ticket during this holiday season, treat yourself to a candy cane and be sure to log into

How to get pulled over by the police and not end up on the news.

Correct Way to Act if Pulled Over by the Police

It seems like the news has a horrible story of a simple “traffic stop” going horribly wrong almost weekly. Although every situation you have heard about was different in the beginning, the ending has been tragic in some situations and a better solution would be to know how to act when being pulled over.

police pulling overGetting pulled over is easier than you may think. So what do you do if you are getting pulled over?  Experts say that as soon as you see the police officer’s flashing lights or hear the car’s siren, turn on your own emergency flashers. This will inform other drivers that you are the driver who is being pulled over and alert them that you will be slowing down in preparation to pull over.

Search for a safe location to park your car. Remember that the police car will be parked behind you, so find a place that is large enough for two vehicles. Also get over enough so that the police officer can stand next to your car with the least amount of exposure to oncoming traffic. If you are on an interstate or highway, there is usually an adequate amount of space on the right side of the road for you to pull over there. Never pull over on the left side of the road, even if there is a median. If there is a driveway or business parking lot within a very short distance, most police officers find it acceptable for you to slowly drive to such a location before stopping your vehicle. Make sure to communicate your intentions to the officer. You may have to turn the flasher off long enough to signal your intentions to the police officer.

As soon as you have found a place to pull over and park your car, turn off the ignition. Never do anything that the police officer might interpret as an intention to get away, no matter how minor your alleged traffic infraction might be. If it is night time, turn on your interior dome light so the officer can see inside the car and what you are doing.

Immediately roll down your window if you have been pulled over by a marked police car. If you have been pulled over by an unmarked police car, wait until the officer emerges from the vehicle and you can see his credentials before rolling down your window.

It may take several moments for the police office to exit his patrol car. This is normal. He or she may need to communicate with the police station to inform them that a vehicle has been stopped or the police officer may be getting information about your car from your license plate. Be patient. Do not get out of your vehicle at this time. Keep your hands in plain sight on the steering wheel. Positions of 10:00 o’clock and 2:00 o’clock on the steering wheel is located towards the top of the wheel and better than the lower half of the wheel.

keep hands visible

When you first begin to initiate conversation with the police officer, remain calm, polite, and respectful. You do not know what situation the officer may have been in before pulling you over. It may have been a life or death situation for them. If you find that you are emotional, try to control your feelings so that the officer can speak with you about the reason he pulled you over. If you are unsure of the reason you were targeted, do not become defensive. The police officer will give you a detailed description of the reason or reasons they have for pulling you over.

The police officer will most likely ask you for your driver’s license and a copy of your vehicle’s insurance policy. Most people keep their insurance card in their glove compartment. Quickly gather these documents and give them to the police officer. If you do not have one of them, tell the officer and give him an explanation for the missing information. IF YOU HAVE AN OPEN WEAPON OR CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE AND OR A WEAPON WITH YOU, TELL THE OFFICER BEFORE YOU REACH FOR ANYTHING.

Be apologetic. No police officer wants to hear a sob story. It is also a bad idea to refute his or her allegations. If you were speeding, insure the officer that you understand the consequences of driving over the speed limit and that you will slow down immediately. If the police officer wants to give you a lengthy lecture about safe driving, listen to it.

If the officer issues you a traffic citation, do not argue or beg. If you are only given a warning, thank the officer for understanding. If the officer only gives you a verbal warning, ensure him or her that you appreciate the opportunity to correct your driving mistakes before having anything put on your driving record. Again, be respectful. Even if you are unhappy with your ticket, remember that you could be pulled over by this same officer again in the future.

After the officer has returned to his patrol car, turn off the emergency flashers, check for oncoming traffic and when the road is clear, turn on your signal, and safely pull onto the main flow of traffic slowly and continue on your way.

While being pulled over by a police officer is by no means a pleasant experience, using common sense and good manners can make it go much smoother than it otherwise might. Be sure to follow the instructions on the traffic citation if you were issued one. Make sure to correct whatever driving mistake caused you to be pulled over in the first place.

Of course the absolute BEST way to avoid the whole situation is to not get pulled over AT ALL!  The best way not to get pulled over is to obey the laws. By seeing driving behavior from the traffic cop’s point of view, you can avoid encounters with the law. A little extra awareness could help you keep points off your driving record and keep down the cost of your car insurance.

Three police agencies and two independent traffic experts loaned their expertise for this list of the most common traffic stops. There were some minor variations in opinion, depending on the police agency. But this list shows you the things to watch out for if you want to avoid getting pulled over by the police.

  1. Speeding.This was on everyone’s list, and the reason is simple. The faster you go, the longer it takes to react to an unexpected situation, whether it’s a pedestrian stepping into the street or another car making an unexpected lane change. Braking distances also increase as speed builds, and it takes about 120 feet for a vehicle to stop when it’s traveling 60 mph.

Speeding is common among the police officer’s reasons to write tickets, particularly for speeding, in an attempt to control the “mileage death rate” — the number of people who die per freeway mile. That’s a sobering thought.

Alex Carroll, author of Beat the Cops, which has sold more than 250,000 copies, offers an opinion on how far over the speed limit a driver can go without being pulled over: 5-7 mph “easy,” he says. The officers interviewed for this story confirmed that there’s a “buffer,” but added that the decision to cut a speeder some slack is up to the officer’s discretion.

  1. Illegal cell phone use.Distracted driving, usually because of texting or talking on a mobile phone, is high on the list of ticket bait developed by our experts. Although just a few states ban all cell phone use in cars, more than 30 have banned texting behind the wheel. “People think, ‘I’ll just make a quick call,’ or ‘This text will only take a second,'” Officer Bustos says. “But you have to drive as if your life depended on it — because it does.”
  1. Hazardous driving.This is a catch-all category for common violations that each of our experts noted. Officer’s say without hesitation: stop sign and stoplight violations, improper lane changes, illegal U-turns, failures to yield and unsafe speeds. California Highway Police officer McElroy says he sees people who apparently have forgotten they’re driving cars: They’re busy shaving, eating and even changing clothes. And what exactly is the violation you’re committing when you’re changing clothes in a car? “Unsafe speed,” he says. “There is no safe speed for pulling a shirt off over your head while driving.”
  1. Equipment violations.Everyone knows the movie scene where a cop smashes a taillight to justify a traffic stop. But in real life, there’s little need for that, our experts say. People commit a multitude of code violations all on their own. Leading the list are heavily tinted windows, burned-out headlights, broken windshields, expired tags, the lack of a front license plate and loud exhaust modifications.
  1. Following too closely and improper lane changes.These two are a tie. Both of these violations are forms of hazardous driving that police specifically called out. Following too closely can easily cause accidents by shortening a driver’s reaction time. Combine that with cell phone use or texting and it is a recipe for disaster.

An improper lane change means cutting someone off or changing lanes without looking first. Failure to signal can also be added to this ticket but it usually doesn’t initiate the traffic stop — partly because the failure to signal is so common.

A Traffic Cop Critic’s List
Police officers aren’t the only ones keeping track of what gets drivers in trouble. Gary Biller, executive director of the National Motorists Association, which is often critical of law enforcement’s handling of traffic stops, listed some attention-getting moves that the police experts didn’t mention, including:

  • Cruising in the left lane of a multilane highway instead of using it only to pass slower traffic          on the right
  • Driving more slowly than the normal traffic flow
  • Peeling out from a stoplight or stop sign, and squealing tires in general
  • Drag racing
  • Racking up lots of unpaid parking or traffic violations

These are things that make your car stand out and catch an officer’s eye. Biller adds that plastering the back of your car with offensive bumper stickers and decals will definitely draw unwelcome attention. Carroll agrees that this will increase the chances of a traffic stop, and adds, “This is particularly so if your sticker conflicts with the cop’s views or is a rival of his favorite sports team.”

Watch Your Mouth
Traffic stops often have a tipping point. Because officers have legal discretion in what they can cite you for, saying or doing the wrong thing can compound your problems. Carroll says that a traffic cop might add extra violations if the motorist is belligerent. Act like a jerk and Carroll says, “They’ll write you up for everything else they can.”

Say that a police officer uses this time-honored opening line: “Do you know why I stopped you?” Take a minute before you answer, Carroll says. If you admit guilt or name a specific speed that you were driving, your fate is sealed. Instead, respond courteously but remain vague, he advises. However, “If you have clearly done something wrong, and you sit there and you’re evasive with the cops, it’s not necessarily in your best interest,” he says.

If you plan on contesting the ticket in court it’s really better to say very little. The officer is expected to have a clear recollection of the traffic stop.

A lot of traffic-ticket gotchas — and serious accidents — begin with a frustrated, impatient driver. If you really don’t want a ticket, try chilling out. Put on a relaxing radio station or CD and be patient, because traffic is bad and there will be delays.

Drive Defensively!

We do have Fall in Texas! No really, it’s true!

When it comes to parks and refuges in Texas we have more than our fair share. Many are known for great hiking (Colorado Bend State Park, Milton Reimers Ranch Park, Garner State Park and Enchanted Rock, just to name a few), but we came across one renowned for its Fall foliage. Yes, even this year when temperatures have remained high, there will be a Fall and there will be foliage. Want proof? Here’s what you do.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

According to Texas Monthly you head just 47 miles southwest of Kerrville to Lost Maples State Natural Area. This somewhat challenging, 4 and a half mile, round-trip hike takes on rugged hills, deep canyons, and skirts the Sabinal River along gentle streams. TM states it the best:

“Start from the East-West trailhead to pass through stands of Uvalde bigtooth maples. Go left at the fork, crossing Can Creek to begin a clockwise loop on the West Trail. (If you take the East Trail, you’ll find some of the park’s best autumn color, as red oaks and Uvalde bigtooth maples turn a warm palette of reds, yellows, and oranges.)”

At this point you begin a steep ascent to a grassy plateau at 220 ft. where you will find a 360 degree view of what you came for: Fall splendor in the form of “undulating wooded terrain before trekking down into Mystic Canyon, marked by spring-fed pools and stair-stepped ravines adorned with colorful maples. The trail eventually turns east to follow Can Creek, which flows into several deep ponds fringed with cattails.”

And when you get hungry from all that hiking you can hop over to the Lost Maples Café in Utopia (that sums it up!) for what is described as comfort food in an historic old building built in 1904. Just looking at the menu will have you racing for your car keys (and don’t forget their world famous pies!).

And if you head to Lost Maples State Natural Area or any other wonderful Texas Park be sure to obey the rules of the road and should you meet one of our fine officers on your trek and need to take defensive driving, just log into We are here for you.



Food, fun and rides are all elements of the State Fair of Texas. The annual celebration this year runs from Sept. 30th – Oct. 23rd , with gates generally open from 10 to 10 daily. Whether you are there just for a deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich or to enjoy the livestock exhibitions, the Fair has seen great success since its simple beginnings in 1886.


In that year there was one group that wanted to develop fair grounds, but they argued over where to build it, so broke into two groups. One group built in the current location and the other just north of the city. That first year was not very successful so in 1887 the groups merged their efforts once more and purchased more land in the current location to include a horse racing track.

When gambling on horses was outlawed in 1903 the group was forced to sell to the City of Dallas, with an agreement that each fall there would be time set aside for the annual exposition. And it has been that way every year since, with only one exception. In 1918 the State Fair was canceled due to World War I and the park converted into a temporary Army encampment.

Undoubtedly there have been changes over the years, especially in safety, of the rides and the fairgrounds in general. When going to the fair there are things you can do and keep in mind in order to make the outing as carefree as possible. These include:

*Know how you are getting there and what the weather will be like. Check out the DART schedule for real convenience.

*Dress comfortably, with good shoes and don’t forget the sunscreen!

*If you are in a group, set up a meeting spot from the start in case your group gets separated.

*Keep track of where exits are in case of an emergency where you have to leave the park quickly.

*Follow all the safety guidelines for rides. They are there for a reason

*Stay hydrated, especially if consuming alcohol.

*Stay sharp and look over rides carefully before getting on in case there are obvious mechanical problems.

For more information about this year’s State Fair of Texas go to And anytime you need more information about the Rules of the Road just log on to

Texas Mermaids – State Unique Drives

A Mermaid adventure awaits you!

I love the magazine Texas Highways, especially if I am looking for something kind of different to do in this great state.  While checking out the Fall, 2016 schedule of events, I became aware of the most amazing thing – we have mermaids in Texas! Or at least in San Marcos. The Mermaid Society SMTX, according to their website,, is “a grassroots community organization committed to connecting community partners to work creatively in support of the arts, river stewardship, historic preservation and a local living economy”. Well, that seems a little dry, so sit back and let me tell you a story.

The springs of the San Marcos River in central Texas are extraordinary. They are the life source for one of the longest-inhabited places in North America and the primary habitat for several endangered species, including a blind salamander found nowhere else on earth.  But did you know they used to be world famous for something else – a submersible theater or Aquarena, giving audiences a window into the world of mermaids.

After General Edward Burleson bought the land in this area in 1845 and damned the headwaters to run a grist mill, it was bought by A.B Rogers in 1924. Rogers put a small resort hotel there and added glass bottom boats, allowing riders to see through the clear waters to the aquatic ecosystem some 30 feet below.  

Roger’s son, Paul, founded Aquarena Springs in 1949 and brought mermaids along with the deal. For years the underwater shows were famous and even earned a spread in Popular Mechanics in 1952.


Texas Unique History


Eventually ticket sales dwindled and the property was bought by Texas State University in 1994. The university restored Aquarena’s glass bottom boats, but converted the site into an environmental preservation and research center.

The work to preserve this water wonder is continued by the Mermaid Society SMTX. The mermaid, says the society, is “the protector of our river and all its inhabitants. Her image is meant to serve as a symbol for our city to remind all to respect and protect the natural beauty and resources of our river for generations to come”.

So how does this tie into the Fall schedule for Texas Highways? On September 16, 2016, the Mermaid Society Ball will be held at The Meadows Center in San Marcos and the next day, September 17, is the Mermaid Parade and Splash in downtown San Marcos. Starting at 10 am, the downtown parade will feature floats, marchers, music and “all things San Marcos”.  Sounds like a wonderful early fall trip and a chance to discover that mermaids do live in our state. Check out their website for more details.

When driving to San Marcos or anywhere in Texas, be sure to obey the rules of the road. And to learn what those rules are, log on to Here is a map with the address of the Mermaid Society. You can also find them on Facebook at

Where is Texas Mermaid


Starry, Starry Night.

Looking for something different to do this summer in Texas? We got just the thing, especially if you love the outdoors and star gazing. It is a little known fact that there are three state parks in Texas that are designated as Certified International Dark Sky Parks. You are probably asking “what the heck is that” and we’ll tell you.

By definition, a dark sky preserve is an area, usually surrounding a park or observatory that is kept free of artificial light pollution. The purpose of a dark sky preserve is generally to promote astronomy.  An IDA International Dark Sky Park (IDSP) is a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment. The land may be publicly owned, or privately owned provided that the landowner(s) consent to the right of permanent, ongoing public access to specific areas included in the IDA designation

Texas stars

There are 36 such designated areas in the world, 27 of those in the U.S. and 3 in Texas.  The award winning program makes designations only after a rigorous application process. Find your spot here

Big Bend State Park is located in Southwest Texas along the Mexican border and became a Dark Sky Park in 2012. Enchanted Rock State Park is located just 18 miles north of Fredericksburg in Central Texas. It was designated in 2014, along with Copper Breaks State Park, 13 miles south of Quanah, Texas, in the Panhandle Plains. Copper Breaks park director, David Turner, hosts star walks throughout the year. Turner says, “The Park replaced many of its outdoor lights with more efficient, low light fixtures and retrofitted others to keep light from emanating upward, helping keep night skies darker and lowering energy bills”. For stargazing, these locations can’t be beat.

Driving to find starry nights

So if hitting the road and seeking the very best locations for gazing above is on your list of things to do this summer, check out the locations above and get going. When taking any trip be sure to make sure your car is in good working condition and you have a usable spare tire on board. Taking the time to plan ahead can insure a safe and fun trip for all involved. And if you need any information about defensive driving log into

Useful links:
Texas Night Sky Festival –
Texas Park Dark Sky Program –

Crashes and Choosing the Path of Least Resistance

H.D. Thoreau once said “The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.” However, when it comes to car accidents, the opposite could save your life.

All of us here at Wireless Defensive Driving want you to avoid a crash if possible, but as we know, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Although, there are many ways you can try to reduce the amount of collision damage. We like to call it choosing the path of least resistance.

Basically, if you know there is no choice but to hit something, aim for the thing that will do the least damage.

For example, let’s pretend a car cuts into your lane and forces you to go off the road and into the shoulder. Now, in the middle of all of this, you have to make a choice, you can either aim to hit the street sign, or the shrub of bushes. Which should you choose? The shrub. Hitting the metal street sign will make more of an impact on your car than the shrub would.

crash avoidance

Here’s another example. If you have a choice of either swerving into oncoming traffic or hitting a mailbox, hit the mailbox. If you’re going to hit either another car or go into the ditch, go into the ditch. But, if you’re stuck between choosing a truck or a large tree, hit the truck. Because the roots of an old tree are so deep in the ground, it’s not going to budge when you hit it, putting a lot more force on your car than hitting the truck would. Neither are going to be good, but hitting the tree would be worse.

Unfortunately, the choice between what you should hit isn’t always going to be easy or obvious. There’s no set rule for what to choose every time, and like most emergency driving situations: You’ll have to decide quickly and in the moment.

Having a defensive driving state on mind, scanning the road and being aware of your surroundings, at all times, will allow for better decisions when under pressure. Please be prepared since there is often no warning for such situations. Keep in mind one important rule when dealing with a sudden obstacle, keep looking at the path leading to safety, not the obstacle itself (avoid obstacle fixation). You can practice this skill without getting in a wreck by asking yourself, “where would I go if…”. Play with the possibilities like, a guy walking in front of you, a car backing out of a parking space or a driver turning instead of yielding.

Take care, stay sharp.

Methods to Deal with Road Rage

6 Best Methods to Deal with Road Rage

How many times do you see wrongs done on the road either to you or others? It is easy to retaliate but that is the first step in escalating a confrontation into road rage. You may want to practice these 6 easy steps and prevent any dangerous situation while behind the wheel.

  1. Listen to the Right Kind of Music
    Music has a huge effect on our emotions. While listening to pump up music can get you feeling all sorts of strong emotions, soothing music may just be the perfect thing to keep you cool when driving.
  2. Give Yourself Some Extra Time
    If you allow yourself some extra time to get to your destination, your drive will be much more comfortable because you aren’t in a rush. Try and keep a schedule to make sure you’ll not only arrive on time, but also have no road rage incidents.
  3. Carpool
    You’re probably wondering, how can this help me stay calm when driving? Often times if the people in the car are co-workers or acquaintances, people tend to reduce their road rage because they don’t want others seeing them in such conditions.
  4. Get Enough Rest
    We can all relate to the fact that when we’re tired, we tend to get grumpy. Make sure you have gotten enough rest each night before driving the next day. It’s more important than you think!
  5. Try to Develop Driver Empathy
    A good tip we always recommend is to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. You never really know what’s going on in their life, so before you roll down your window and start screaming, think about how they’re feeling too.
  6. Pull Over, Take a Break
    Driving while you’re road raged can often times be just as bad as driving buzzed or drowsy. If you begin to get angry or upset, take a pit stop and calm yourself down for a few minutes before getting back on the road.

You can also read further about road rage in the Texas Department of Insurance Factsheet

Texas road rage

“Two Steps, One Sticker” – Here we go again

Unless you do not own a vehicle at all, you know by now that Texas stopped issuing vehicle inspection stickers on March 1, 2015. So as of this March 1st we will be entering the 2nd year of the “Two Steps, One Sticker” program that requires an inspection to be done prior to being issued a registration sticker – a simpler process for these two very important annual vehicle requirements.

insp stick

So your vehicle has one important expiration date. Make a note of this date and do the following:

Step 1: Take your car to be inspected and pass the test no earlier than 90 days prior to your expiration date. If you need a list of inspection stations go to the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

Step 2: After you pass inspection, keep a copy of the report for your records. You can then renew your registration online, by mail or in person at your county tax office. They will verify your inspection electronically.

There are numerous benefits of this program. Because there is just one sticker and one date you don’t have to keep track of multiple expirations. And one sticker on your window actually cuts down on the clutter on the windshield and allows you to see out of it better.  It also makes our vehicles cleaner and safer because they all have to pass safety and emissions tests. And it cuts down on Inspection Sticker Fraud because these stickers are no longer required.


Remember that your registration will expire on the last day of whatever month is on the sticker. If you take note of it early you will have plenty of time to complete the two steps involved. So if your sticker says June, 2016, it expires at the end of June. You can get your inspection as early as April 2. Planning ahead will allow you to have ample time to get registered.

For all your defensive driving needs and information on Texas laws that affect you and your car, log into

4 Steps to get your car ready for winter.

How to Winterize Your Car.

Winter is coming! Though some of us don’t have to worry about the freezing temperatures, many drivers across the United States should take these precautions into mind to ensure you and your car can get to and from your destination safely. Here’s just a few tips to help prepare your car for the winter season.

Check the car’s battery

Just like extreme heat, sudden freezing can also reduce your car’s battery capacity.

You should first check the level of charge left in your battery. Some batteries come with a built-in hydrometer meter that can tell you the voltage that is remaining, but if not, you can always get a handheld hydrometer to check for the same information. If it is too low, you should replace the battery immediately. Who wants to be stranded in the cold because your battery died?

winter is coming

While inspecting the battery, clean off any corrosion caused by battery acid that is piled up around the connectors. The most simple way we’ve found to clean this is to dip a toothbrush in a baking soda and water mix, and scrub away. Don’t forget to dry the connectors off before re-connecting your cables.

Watch this short video:

Replace the antifreeze

The purpose of antifreeze is to protect your car’s cooling system from overheating, freezing and corroding. Keeping old antifreeze running in your car gives you a higher chance of one or multiple of those things happening to the engine. And, let’s say your engine dies and you need to replace it, well that could end up costing more than the car is worth. Take your car to the mechanic, and if the antifreeze needs to be replaced, have them flush out all of the old and start new.

Replace old oil

Wireless Defensive Driving recommends this tip on a regular basis in order to lengthen the life of your engine. In the cold, engine oil thickens, putting much more stress on the engine to run smoothly. Whether you change the oil yourself or take it to the mechanic to do, do it often.

Consider snow tires

If you live in an area that often gets a lot of snow, you may want to consider getting a set of snow tires, or even snow chains, for your car. Although more expensive, these work better than a set of all-season tires, and could save you from getting stuck out in the cold.