Getting stuck on the side of the road is never a good situation.
Chances are, you are stressed or scared and in need of help. In a worst case scenario, someone in your car is hurt.
While it might not be fun to spend a Saturday putting together an emergency kit to keep in your car if your car breaks down. But when you find yourself on the side of the road, you will be thankful you did.
While some companies sell pre-assembled emergency kits to keep in your car, DMV.org warned that these aren’t always as inclusive as you might hope.
The best way to be prepared is to take the time to do it yourself.
Ways To Communicate
The first thing you will need to do when you get into an accident or your car breaks down is to get in touch with your family, police and your car insurance agent. You will also need to alert other drivers on the road.
If it’s dark, it will be hard for other drivers to spot you, which increases the risk of tangential accidents.
To ensure you will be able to communicate with the right people, be sure to always have your cell phone charged, Bankrate explained. You will probably be carrying your phone on you and not in your car, and chances are it will be charged when you begin your drive.
However, it’s a good idea to make sure to have an adaptable phone charger in your car at all times. Get into the habit of plugging your phone in whenever you get into your car. This will ensure the most battery possible should you find yourself stranded.
To get the attention of other drivers on the road, most people will turn on their emergency flashers. If your battery isn’t working, though, this is no longer an option.
To prepare for this, DMV.org suggested packing some triangle reflectors to set up around your car’s perimeter as well as some roadside flares. This will not only help warn drivers of your presence, but will also alert them that you need help. If there isn’t any phone service, this is crucial.
Car Maintenance Tools
Chances are, if you are stranded on the side of the road, it’s because something went wrong with your car.
Having some tools to perform some basic maintenance, such as changing a tire or jump-starting your car, is a good idea.
You’ll want to have a spare tire and all the tools specific to your car for changing the tire. This includes a jack and a wrench. Also, Bankrate explained many drivers forget to make sure their spare is fully inflated. Changing your flat tire out for another flat can be avoided if you regularly check the air in the spare. To do this, always have a tire pressure gauge handy. Foam tire sealant is also a good way to fix minor damage to a tire without having to change it.
Be sure to have jumper cables and work gloves in case you need to jump your car. The cables should be 10 feet long, or longer, and be coated with rubber.
Be Ready for Inclement Weather
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice during the winter, you’ll want a few extra items in your car to prepare for any weather-related accidents.
- Have a shovel to remove snow from around your car
- Cat litter to create added traction on ice
- A windshield scraper to remove ice and snow from windows
- Extra blankets and winter gear will help keep you and other passengers warm while waiting for help to arrive
Getting into a wreck can be a very scary situation, especially if it’s in a secluded area. But with some preparation, you can feel in control of the situation if it occurs.