Be Prepared with a Simple Car Emergency Kit

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Tips, Helping You Drive Safely


Car problems are a pretty normal occurrence in life. Most of the time we almost expect our vehicles to grow a sudden vengeance towards us as they seem to break down at the worst times possible. It happens when we’re far from home, in hot weather, when no one else is around. The word stranded never described something more accurate than those times your car decided to poop out on you. But rather than wait around for that sudden, unexpected breakdown, prepare yourself beforehand with a simple car emergency kit.

Your road safety kit will change over time, especially if you add people to your family and need items for children or another passenger or two. But putting one together is not only easy, it could also save you a lot of stress in the event of an emergency. You can keep the items in a small backpack or even a small crate in the trunk of your car where it will be easy to grab at any time. Here are a few items we suggest keeping in your car emergency kit:


This one might seem like a no-brainer, car batteries die pretty often and this is one of the most common issues with a car breakdown. You might even have a special compartment in your car for jumper cables. If you do, then don’t worry about adding these to your kit, just make sure that they are always in that special compartment.


Another common issue with car breakdowns is an oil leak or if you haven’t paid attention to your next oil service and are running pretty low. Keep a quart on hand at all times along with a funnel and a couple rags to use when you’re checking the dipstick.


This is another no-duh item to keep in your car kit. Keep at least a gallon of water in your car at all times. When your car breaks down during a hot day you’ll be thankful for a little extra hydration. Plus you can also use the water to top off the radiator when you’re desperate. We’ve also found it super helpful to have a couple snacks on hand like granola bars or fruit snacks for you or kids when waiting for the tow truck takes a bit longer than expected. Plus, some days when you skip breakfast it’s good to have a backup on hand!


Having extra clothes in the car is a great thing especially if you have kids. Babies or potty training kids often have accidents and a spare set of clothes can be a godsend in an emergency. Keep them in a gallon-sized Ziploc so that you can put the dirty clothes into it and keep all that icky stuff zipped up. For you or other adults, keep a sweater or sweatshirt, a rain coat, socks and a fresh pair of underwear. If you work at a business-casual kind of office, try keeping a comfy and a business outfit in the car for those days you’re rushing to different events after or before work.


Always, always keep one in your car. If you buy one that’s already prepped in a small kit itself you can keep this in a pocket on the back of a chair or under a passenger seat and save a little space in your emergency kit.


Whether it’s a headlamp in your glovebox or flashlight stashed in a door, having a flashlight on hand is a must. You’ll be surprised how often you use it even during the day when you’re checking out the deep inside of your engine.


You don’t always need to keep these on hand, just in the colder months. They’re not only good for emergencies, but they’re also great when the heater dies or your passengers really don’t want to wait for the car to heat up before getting on the road.


These two are especially important if you live in regions that get a lot of snow. They’re great for traversing over mountains and also for those really crummy days when your car gets stuck in snow. Visit our homepage other defensive driving online tips.


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