You never know when you’re going to run into trouble on the road. Whether it’s an accident or a breakdown, you can be left vulnerable if you’re not able to drive away from the scene immediately. For that reason, it’s wise to be ready for emergencies with the right tools at your disposal. Here, let’s look at what that emergency kit should really include.
A first-aid kit
First of all, if you get into a collision, then there is going to be a good chance that someone is injured. Even if the injury is a light cut, you should make sure that you’re ready to help patch it up with a first-aid kit to prevent things like infections. However, if someone seems very badly injured, it’s important not to move them unless they are in immediate danger of more severe injuries. Furthermore, if you are in an accident but you don’t feel injured, it’s still important to see the doctor as some issues like whiplash might not manifest for some time.
A phone and the right numbers
It’s a good idea to have a spare phone available in the car, particularly an older one with some minutes on it so that you can follow your post-crash checklist. You will need the right numbers to do that, too, including your insurance company, a breakdown or towing service, and perhaps even some legal assistance. That way, even if your own phone is lost or damaged in the incident, you can still get in touch with the people that you need to call to ensure your safety after the fact.
Crucial information and paperwork
If you end up breaking down or getting into an accident, you may be questioned about the nature of the car’s ownership, not to mention its repair history and insurance details. As such, it’s wise to keep paperwork in the car, preferably all in the same place. This can include things like your repair information, insurance claim forms, AAA information, your license, registration, and the like. Keep these in a safe file that you can pull out whenever you need to. Most people tend to keep this kind of papers in their glove box.
One of the parts of the car that is most likely to lead to its failure, or at least to more dangerous driving conditions, is the tyre. If you get a flat, it’s best to pull over as quickly as you can to prevent damage to the wheel itself. Having a spare tyre and changing kit in the trunk can help you get things back up and running. You might even want to consider buying spare wheels so that your roadside assistance services can fit them for you. Otherwise, a temporary stop can be turned into a much longer hiatus from driving.
Some jumper cables
Your battery is also likely to be a cause of breakdowns. If you don’t replace it in time, it can drain, leaving you stranded on the side of the road. There are a lot of different jumper cable sets that you can buy, but you usually want it to be roughly six meters in length. This can help you connect your battery to the battery of another car, and give yours the jolt of energy you need to complete your journey or at least make it to a garage.
A car repair kit
Aside from the tire and jumper cables kits mentioned above, there are a few other things you should bring with you. Motor oil can be incredibly useful because you might find yourself struggling with a very tight fit bolt, for instance. The tire pressure gauge can help you quickly make sure that your tires in good condition, too. Lastly, a little engine coolant can help you get your engine back into good health if you have stopped due to it overheating. These little bits and pieces should be kept in your boot to the side for when you need them.
Things to help you see better
You might not necessarily find yourself stopping in the middle of the day when the sun is out. The dark can be a tricky and dangerous thing to deal with. That’s why you should make sure you have a decent travel torch handy in the car so that you can see better at night. Ice is another thing that can affect your visibility, especially when it comes to your windows and windscreen. For that reason, you should consider bringing an ice scrape with you, as well.
Things to help you be seen
It’s not just your visibility you need to worry about, in terms of being able to see. You should also be concerned about whether people can see you, especially at night. Without your headlights on, it might be difficult for other motorists to see you. As such, it’s recommended you have high-visibility gear at the ready. This can include a jacket for you to wear, but you should also consider cones or other high-visibility markers that can be placed around the car to alert others to its presence. Generally, you don’t want to get out of your car except to place these down.
Food, water, and clothes
It not always easy to anticipate when you might be left stranded, but if you’re planning on taking a trip a long way from home, then you should be ready for the possibility of a breakdown. It’s wise to keep some bottled water, some non-perishable and easy-to-eat foods, as well as some warm clothes and blankets in your car. That way you can make sure you’re kept fed, hydrated, and warmed up. You can protect yourself even in the winter if you have the right gear to keep you comfortable until help arrives.
If you get into an accident or a breakdown, having the right preparations in place can make all the difference. Hopefully, the tips above have given you some thoughts about how you could be better prepared for the likelihood of car trouble.