Car emergencies are scary, especially if you happen to be traveling alone in an unfamiliar area. By preparing for car emergencies ahead of time, you can make them safer and easier to deal with. Pack your car with as many of the items below as possible to ensure your safety on and off the road.
Cell Phone with Camera and Car Charger
You may need a phone to call the police, a tow truck, or your insurance company. If possible, have a cell phone with a camera for taking pictures of any accidents or vehicle damage.
First Aid Kit
You will need basic supplies for any minor injuries that occur in your travels. Make sure to replenish your first aid kit often with new band aids, bandages, and medicine.
Spare Tire and Tools
A flat tire is a common roadside emergency, and you should have the tools to change it yourself. A spare tire is a must.
You will also need a jack and a lug wrench. Consider also getting a “breaker” or “cheater” bar to help stubborn lug nuts along. Practice changing your tire at home to make sure you ready to do it on the road.
Be sure to have hazard triangles to mark your car. You want to alert other motorists to you, and you may not be able to count on using your hazard lights.
You may go years without using your jumper cables, but they will come in handy if you or another motorist has a dead battery.
Flashlight and batteries
If you have car trouble at night, you will need to be able to see. Have a high quality flashlight in your car at all times, with a couple extra sets of batteries.
Anyone who lives in an area with ice or snow should have an ice scraper in the car. Keep it in year round so that you never forget it.
A roll of duct tape can be the difference between driving your car home and getting it towed. Duct tape can be a temporary fix until a permanent repair can be made.
Fluids and spare parts
Have some motor oil, antifreeze, fuses, and windshield wiper fluid in your car. You never know when you may need to tune up your car while you’re on the road.
Food and water
If you’re stranded, you will need something to eat or drink. Keep some fresh bottled water and non-perishable healthy snacks like protein bars in your car.
It may seem silly to pack this with all your supplies, but if you need it, you’ll be glad you have it.
Keep an extra set of warm clothes in your car. Include a heavy waterproof coat, a hat, and gloves. Having a warm blanket or two is also a good idea.