Items to include in your automotive emergency kit
Road trips can make for great weekend getaways or even more lengthy vacations for those who can’t get enough of the open road. But before embarking on any road trips, motorists should replenish their automotive emergency kits with the following items so they are fully prepared in the event of an accident or an injury.
• First-aid kit: A first-aid kit can treat cuts and abrasions suffered while you are out of the car and even some minor injuries that may result if you are in a car accident. Include essential items like adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, bandages, a cold compress, gauze, and scissors. Visit www.redcross.org for a more extensive list of items to include in your first-aid kit, which should be kept in your car at all times.
• Tools: It’s important to include tools in your automotive emergency kit. While a full toolbox might be unnecessary, bring along an adjustable wrench, a flat head and Phillips screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a tire jack and crow bar, an ice scraper, and a flashlight. Extra roadside flares and reflectors also should be packed should you need to pull over and address an automotive problem, such as a flat tire. Keep a tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment or with your other tools so you can check tire pressure if you feel your car is not operating as smoothly as it normally does.
• Fluids: While it’s best to check all of your vehicle’s fluids before beginning a road trip, it does not hurt to bring along some extra fluids just in case you start to run low while out on the road. Fluids to pack include motor oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Include a funnel with these items so you can easily pour them in should you be running low. Pack an empty spray bottle as well so you have something to spray washer fluid from if a problem arises with your wiper blades.
• Wiper blades: Include an extra set of wiper blades in your automotive emergency kit. Maintaining wiper blades is an oft-overlooked component of vehicle maintenance, so bring along an extra set of blades should your existing blades succumb to wear and tear while you’re on the road.
• Miscellaneous items: Some items that may not seem synonymous with road trips can come in handy should you find yourself in an emergency. Pack a blanket so you and your passengers can stay warm should your car break down at night. In addition, pack some energy bars and bottled water so no one gets too hungry or thirsty while waiting for help to arrive. It’s also good to keep a pair of work gloves in your car so you can still use your tools or change a tire when the temperatures dip or your hands get sweaty on hot days.