Do you really need an emergency roadside assistance kit in your vehicle? Well, AAA claims that 1 out of 3 drivers will be faced with a roadside breakdown of some sort this year. Chances are it will not take place near your home on a nice sunny day, so you do need to be prepared. Even if you have a membership with an auto club or a new model vehicle under warranty with roadside assistance it can take a considerable amount of time for that assistance to get to you.
Having an emergency assistance kit may be able to keep you safer, give you peace of mind, and usually get you back on the road faster. A good kit has to have the items you need to help you survive until help arrives.
What you include in your kit may vary depending on how you use your vehicle. If you typically are just using it for around town you may be able to get away with less items than if you often use it for long trips. Below is a list of what many consider to be the basics for a useful kit.
- Cell phone and charger
- Fire extinguisher
- Fully stocked first-aid kit
- Flashlight, along with backup batteries
- Tool kit or multipurpose tool
- Warning light, hazard triangle, or flares
- Jumper cables
- Bottled water and nonperishable snacks
- Spare tire or flat tire inflation canister
- Wheel wrench and car jack to change the tire if your car came with a spare
- Tire pressure gauge
- Spare car fuses
- Coolant hose repair kit – Duct tape
- Blanket – sleeping bag
- Rain poncho
- Small shovel
- Towing strap or chain
- Gloves, hand cleaner, and clean rags
- Emergency contact numbers for family, roadside services and your insurance provider
- Radio: battery or hand cranked
- Pen and paper
This might be a much longer list depending on the area you drive in or the severity of the weather. If you are comfortable working on your own vehicle a more extensive tool list might help. More remote driving locations may call for more clothing options and a larger supply of water and food.
Canadian Arctic rescue teams suggest drivers carry a can of dog food in their cars. It seems that people tend to eat their emergency food too soon. The dog food is less appetizing and stranded motorists will wait to eat that until they really need it.
Regardless of how extensive you make your kit, the first step is to have a kit in your vehicle. A great starting point is to get a prepackaged emergency kit. You can later add to it to meet your needs. Our dealers have roadside assistance and first aid kits available that will get you going.
Do you need it? A roadside emergency kit ranks pretty high on our “do you need it” scale. This is worth looking into. See our on-line catalogs for details on kit contents. http://www.autopartspeople.com