Picture this: You’re driving alone, windows rolled down, your favorite songs playing loudly as you enjoy a fast, hassle-free drive to your weekend getaway. Until you feel something suspiciously off about your car, and you’re forced to stop by the side of the road.
You alight from your car to see what the problem is. All of a sudden, your dream weekend is in danger of becoming an absolute nightmare after spotting a flat tire. Unfortunately, you don’t have a spare. In fact, you don’t even have an emergency kit with you. Soon enough, reality sinks in, and you’re forced to sit there, stewing in your frustration and sense of helplessness, until assistance comes along.
The importance of having a car emergency kit at all times cannot be overstated. It’s simply impossible to predict what challenges you’ll encounter on the road. However, you can only fit so much into the trunk of your car — which is why every item in your emergency kit should count.
- A spare tire. Flat tires are the perpetual thorn in drivers’ sides. It only takes one flat tire to put your entire trip in jeopardy. Having a spare tire in your trunk is a no-brainer. (Of course, you also need to have the tools to replace your flat tire with your spare, but we’ll get into that in a bit.)
- Jumper cables. Another essential in your emergency kit, jumper cables can get you out of a tight jam if a dead car battery puts you in one.
- Tools and equipment. Your tool kit must contain all the items you need to make the most out of your emergency kit. Aside from the obligatory screwdrivers and wrenches, you’ll also need a tripod jack, as well as duct tape and spare batteries. Consider investing in a multipurpose utility tool and a fire extinguisher as well.
- A flashlight. You’ll never know when dark times are ahead, literally and otherwise. Make sure that your flashlight is in working condition, and that it has fresh batteries. You wouldn’t want to be stranded in the middle of the night or forced to do car repairs by the side of the road without a handheld light.
- Reflective triangles. Being stuck on the side of a busy road really isn’t an appealing prospect. Having reflectors on hand will help you to warn other vehicles that your car is currently immobile, helping to prevent any accidents resulting from passing drivers who weren’t able to dodge you or hit the brakes in time. Reflectors or early warning devices usually come in pairs – 1 yellow and 1 red. You don’t use these side by side but in a series. Put your yellow reflector about 6 meters away from your stalled car to warn motorists about a hazard up ahead. Put your red reflector 3 meters away to indicate they’re very near the hazard.
- A first aid kit. In case of an accident, you’ll definitely want to have a first aid kit with you. Pack it with bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, medication, gauze, tweezers, a cold compress, and other first aid essentials. Oil and Coolant. It is recommended to regularly check your car’s fluids before taking it out for a ride but just in case, it pays to always have spare oil and coolant in your trunk. Oil lubricates the moving parts of your car engine, helping it to perform well. The coolant keeps your car cool and running out of it will probably lead to overheating. Needless to say, running out of one or the other or both when you’re on the road can lead to costly car damage.
- Comprehensive Motor Car Insurance with Roadside Assistance. Out of this list, the most important would by far be an active and up to date motor car insurance policy, preferably with roadside assistance benefit. When the gravity of your car emergency is at an extreme, this could mean that you, your passengers or pedestrians may have sustained injuries, and your car badly damaged. With road assistance benefits, you can call your insurance provider for help and your policy can pay for the damages you will otherwise have to fork out on your own.