What To Carry In An Emergency Roadside Kit
A roadside emergency is possible at anytime. Whether you have a new car or an old clunker, there is the possibility of the car having mechanical problems or a weather-related problem that can cause you to get stranded. Being prepared for this possibility can reduce your stress, make you safer, and help you get on the road more quickly.
If your car has mechanical problems or a flat tire, you need to let other drivers know that your car is stopped. This is especially important if your car is disabled due to an accident and is stuck in the roadway. Your kit should include road flares, a couple of triangular hazard lights, and a battery-powered warning light. If you are stuck and visibility is low, make sure you use all of these to help other drivers avoid an accident.
Before going on a long trip, make sure your spare tire is inflated properly. It is good to do this when ever you get an oil change as well. In your kit, carry a tire gauge.
Do not talk and drive, but do keep a cell phone in your vehicle. If there is an emergency, you want to be able to call for help. If you do not normally carry a cell phone, purchase an inexpensive pre-paid phone and keep enough minutes on the phone that you can use it in case of emergency. Always keep a car cell phone charger in your vehicle.
Jumper cables or a portable battery booster is an essential part of any emergency roadside kit. Jumper cables and portable battery boosters are easy to use, and you can keep the instructions in the vehicle in case you forget which side is positive or negative when you are stressed.
In your trunk, you should have a jack and lug wrench that works on your vehicle and tires. If you purchase a new or used vehicle, these items may not come with the car and you would then need to purchase them. Before taking a long trip, test the lug wrench to make sure you are able to loosen the lug nuts. Tire service centers usually use a tool to tighten lug nuts, and this can make it impossible for you to loosen them. A lug wrench is useless if you are not able to use it!
A few odds and ends that also belong in your roadside kit include: an emergency blanket, disposable camera with a flash, gloves, hand cleaner, rags or shop towels, flashlight with extra batteries, pad of paper and pen, and twenty dollars in small bills and change. Also, keep a card with the phone numbers of your roadside assistance club, like AAA, and your auto insurance provider.
In addition to making sure that you have a proper roadside emergency kit in your vehicle, also take time to get periodic maintenance checks on your vehicle. Making sure your vehicle is ready to drive is a good way to prevent roadside emergencies.