Even the best-maintained vehicles suffer breakdowns. You may already have in mind a list of items you should keep in your trunk. Whether you’re commuting or on a summer road trip, roadside emergencies can happen with little warning. It’s important to keep a few roadside assistance items in your trunk so that you can get back on the road quickly. Prepare for the unexpected by creating a comprehensive roadside emergency kit
Roadside emergencies tend to involve electrical system snags, fuel delivery difficulties, and tire troubles. Car batteries usually last three or four years in our northern climes, and failure in winter is typical. Alternators are stressed keeping up with the battery and vehicle systems, and tires are susceptible to damage from road debris and potholes. Running out of fuel on long drives is another common problem. Everyday road hazards include animal strikes and fender benders. There are plenty of other types of failures as well, too numerous to mention and impossible to predict or prepare for.
Building your own roadside emergency kit
Most vehicles come with little in the way of roadside emergency kit supplies—perhaps a spare tire, a jack, a lug wrench, and some spare fuses. These are useful only for a few specific issues. Build your own roadside emergency kit to prepare for a wider range of potential problems.
At minimum, carry a tire inflator, a tire repair kit, and jumper cables or a booster box. A flashlight or headlamp and a multitool can be useful as well. You might also consider hose clamps and extra fluids, such as engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and washer fluid. If you run out of fuel, a fellow motorist can help you if you have a siphon and an empty gas can.
In case of emergency, have a way to contact emergency services or friends and family. Most of us carry a mobile phone, and many cars are equipped with telematics systems, which is a good start. Because cell coverage is lacking in certain areas and call boxes are rare, consider a CB radio if you travel through dead zones regularly.
If you must pull to the side of the road, make yourself as visible as possible with safety triangles, road flares, or safety flashers. Keep flares stored in a waterproof box and check batteries regularly.
Accidents and electrical problems can cause fire, which can incinerate a car in a matter of minutes. An ABC-class dry chemical fire extinguisher, if used within the first minute of a fire, can prevent a larger disaster.
Accidental injuries can happen to any driver. You might injure yourself while changing a flat tire or get cut by broken glass in an animal strike. First-aid kits come in several levels, the most basic containing things like bandages and pain killers, while more comprehensive kits may include a splint, a blanket, a poncho, and other survival gear.
If you become stranded, keeping warm and hydrated will be your biggest concerns, especially in winter. Simple non-perishable foods and water bottles can be a lifesaver if you must wait for help to arrive.
Get a all-in-one roadside assistance kit for peace of mind
This survival first-aid kit includes several useful items in a convenient duffel. If you want to make sure you’ve got everything in hand in case the unexpected occurs, these kits are the perfect companions on your trunk
Your emergency kit depends on where, what, when, and how you drive. Tailor your roadside emergency kit according to the roads you travel, the age and condition of your vehicle, and weather conditions. Check with fellow motorists or your local NAPA Auto Parts associate for other ideas on preparing your kit.
Of course, most problems can be prevented by keeping your vehicle in the best shape possible. Maintain and inspect your vehicle regularly, fixing small problems before they worsen. That said, always expect the unexpected. You can’t be prepared for every possible scenario, but a proper roadside emergency kit can help you get through most of them.
By Benjamin Jerew