Keeping an Car Emergency kit in your vehicle is part of responsible driving. Drivers can commit errors while driving, and errors easily impact surrounding vehicles and pedestrians.
Sometimes the things that go wrong aren’t accident-related. For example, you might take the wrong off-ramp highway exit and get lost. Other times, the error of a driver several cars in front of you causes an accident and ripple effect.
Therefore, drivers should prepare for what-if moments. What-if:
- You can’t find a gas station or rest stop quickly
- The check engine light starts flashing unexpectedly
- You run late to a meeting
- You can’t find your destination
An emergency kit allows drivers to deal with small what-if moments. It can also allow you time to find help for more severe situations. For example, most drivers rarely leave home without their smartphones. Thus, a smartphone helps you call for your help if your vehicle stops running.
Every vehicle owner benefits from putting together an emergency kit for their cars.
We list the seven essential items for a car emergency kit.
1. Spare Tire and Tire Changing Kit
Most new vehicles include a spare tire. However, if you purchase a used car, it might not have a spare. Thus, you must replenish it. Spare tires afford you time to find a repair shop or gas station – a helpful temporary solution.
Also, purchase the tools that make fixing a flat easier.
Most kits have jacks, lug wrenches, alignment studs, and extension bars. Like other gadgets, these tools have evolved too. For example, you can find jacks that also pump air.
In cases when you decide to let someone else do the driving, pick your rideshare or cab driver wisely. When you take a rideshare ride, your safety is out of your hands and in theirs. You expect that the driver will take it as seriously as you do.
If an accident occurs, contact a Lyft and Uber accident attorney Los Angeles who will provide post-collision guidance.
2. Jumper Cables
Jumper cables help give vehicle batteries a power jump. If a car fails to start, it’s not always the battery – it’s the result of the other parts such as the timing belt or starter.
Giving the battery a jolt of power troubleshoots the issue; it also affords you a temporary solution.
In addition, having a spare pair of jumper cables means you can help others who might find themselves in distress.
3. Flashlight and Batteries
If you need to look under the hood of your vehicle, flashlights and batteries come in handy. When you drive after sunset, the flashlight helps you see better in the dark.
Even in the daylight hours, flashlights make seeing things easier during emergencies.
Several multi-tools exist including pliers, knives, and wrenches. Drivers benefit from keeping one of each in their vehicles. Since each unit has several uses, it will help you cut, twist, and open things more easily.
The wrench will help you fix a flat while the pliers allow you to hold things together before bending or cutting them.
Having multi-tools in your kit helps you prepare for the unexpected. Plus, they don’t take up a lot of space.
5. First Aid Kit
Complete vehicle emergency kits also have first-aid kits. Typical first-aid kits include bandages, ointments, and tapes.
In a pinch, drivers can repurpose the items. For example, you can use the tape as a quick fix for holding parts together such as exterior mirrors. If you experience a gash, bite, or cut, you can mend yourself.
Water has several purposes. It hydrates you on a hot day and cools down your vehicle. Water also helps clean muddy windshields, interior spills, and dirty shoes.
Before heading out to work, school, or a trip, ensure that you have a gallon of water in your car’s trunk. You can also pack a case of disposable water bottles.
Individuals who go to the gym consistently often keep spare clothes and grooming tools in their vehicles. Like a spare gym bag, blankets come in handy during emergencies too.
It can keep you warm while you wait for help. A blanket can also serve as a distress signal. If you find yourself stuck in bad outdoor weather conditions, simply hang it outside a car window.
When the sun is particularly bright, use it to provide shade.
Packing an emergency kit for your vehicle provides peace of mind if something goes wrong. The essential items help you overcome small challenges such as a flat tire. Moreover, they give you time to find help when severe situations occur.