Nobody is immune to getting into a fender bender or even a serious accident. Even if you’re doing everything right on the road, someone else might be driving distracted, or you might have car trouble. Because none of us can predict the future, it’s so important to have a roadside emergency kit inside your car filled with essentials while you wait for help. We recommend including the following in your kit:
Besides any emergency situations, having jumper cables with you is just a good idea. Whether your car stalls in a grocery store parking lot or something goes wrong on your road trip, having those cables could make all the difference. If you’re nervous about flagging down another car to give you a jump, there are many jump starters on the market that allow you to do the job without the power of another car.
Flares or triangle reflectors
If you do find yourself in a bad situation and have to pull over, it’s important for other cars to be able to see you. When it’s dark outside or the weather is limiting visibility, you’ll want to alert drivers to your car on the side of the road, so you can avoid another accident or problem. We suggest keeping reflective triangles or flares in your car so you can warn people of your stopped car, and also help emergency crews or roadside assistance find you.
Whether you’re injured in an accident or become injured while changing the tire or looking under the hood or car, you need a first aid kit in your vehicle. Make sure it’s fully stocked and any medications included in it are not expired. Even if you don’t get into an accident, it’s a good idea to have a kit with you in case you need to help someone else.
Blanket or space blanket
Besides helping you stay warm on your drive into the office in the mornings, keeping a blanket on your seat is a good idea for safety reasons. If your car were to break down on a freezing night, or if you run out of gas in a snowstorm, you’d want something to help keep you warm until help comes. Additionally, if you or any passengers involved in an accident go into shock, having a blanket to wrap up in can be comforting and help keep any tremors at bay.
There are a couple of reasons to keep bottled water in your car’s emergency kit. If you end up in an accident or stranded on a hot day, you need water to stay hydrated and alert. You’ll want more than one bottle in your emergency kit, just in case you are stranded for longer than a few minutes. Also, if your car is overheating, pouring water on the engine or in the coolant tank will cool it down, preventing a possible fire.
If you are stranded, it is important to be able to contact people for help and keep in regular contact until help arrives. In order to do so, you need to be able to keep your phone charged with a reliable car charger. If your phone isn’t charged before you can use your USB charger, it’s also a good idea to keep a small power bank in your car. You can even find solar-powered banks for unplanned situations so you won’t have to remember to charge your power bank.