Preparing for Roadside Emergencies
It’s true that keeping your vehicle up to date on preventive auto maintenance offers maximum protection against a break down. But no amount of preparation can guarantee immunity from unpredictable highway emergencies like a flat tire or inclement weather. Prepare for the unexpected with a vehicle emergency kit. By packing a few items in a safe, out of the way place in your vehicle, you can avoid inconvenient travel delays and ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers.
A carefully built roadside emergency kit can do the following for you:
- Make other drivers aware of the existence and location of a broken down vehicle.
- Help the driver make repairs.
- Notify emergency responders, an automobile-club such as AAA, friends, or family members of an emergency situation.
- Keep the driver and passengers safe and comfortable until help arrives.
When putting together your vehicle emergency kit, consider packing the following items, and remember to add or remove seasonal items as needed:
- Fully charged cell phone and a car charger
- Flashlight and batteries
- Jumper cables or a portable battery booster
- Reflective hazard triangles, warning lights, cones, and/or flares
- Foam tire sealant for minor punctures
- Basic tools like pliers, flat- and Phillips-head screwdrivers, and an adjustable wrench
- Fire extinguisher
- Spare fuses to fit your vehicle
- Vehicle fluids and a funnel
- First-aid kit
- Water and non-perishable snacks
- Warm blanket, winter hat, wool socks, boots, and gloves
- Tire chains, a folding Army shovel, and kitty litter or sand
Visit DMV.org or ConsumerReports.org for a more extensive list of suggested items.
Staying safe on the road includes preparing for an unexpected emergency. An adequate vehicle emergency kit can get your vehicle moving again or keep you safe and comfortable while you wait for help. Use the tips in this article to build your own roadside emergency kit and store it in the trunk of your vehicle. You’ll be glad you did should you ever encounter a roadside emergency.
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