Accidents happen. Vehicles of all ages, makes, and models have breakdowns. When your day is interrupted with a broken down car, the only thing that’s important in that moment is to have everything you need to stay safe and secure until help arrives.
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to have a fully stocked emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. Pre-made car emergency kits are available at major retailers, but that shouldn’t stop you from making your own. Use this as your starting point to make sure you have everything you need.
These are the 11 most important items that we recommend you include in your vehicle emergency kit.
1. A Fully Charged Cell Phone, an Extra Cell Phone Battery, or Phone Charger
If you find yourself stranded, your first move should be to get yourself to safety, and then call for help. But, without immediate, reliable access to a cell phone, you have no way of contacting anyone—not a family member, police officer, or an ambulance. Keep yourself safe by carrying a cell phone, an extra cell phone battery, or phone charger so you always have a way to call for help in case of an emergency.
Should you or one of your passengers suffer an injury, a first aid kit will give you access to basic treatment options until the appropriate help arrives on the scene of the crash.
Important note: A first aid kit typically only helps with flesh wounds or cuts. If you suspect someone in your car has a head, neck, or back injury, it’s best not to move the injured person.
3. Flashlights and Extra Batteries
A flashlight is always a good idea if you are making a lengthy drive, regardless of whether you’re on the road during daylight or after the sun has set. For example, it can help you:
• See better under the hood
• See better when changing a tire
• Flag down help from passers by
• Look at a map
Keep one in your emergency kit or in the driver side door for easy access.
4. Fire Extinguisher
When an accident happens and a fire breaks out, time is of the essence. Having a fire extinguisher will help you control the situation to a certain degree until the fire department arrives. Never put yourself in harm’s way; only attempt to extinguish small fires.
5. Reflective Triangles
If you’ve stalled on the road and either aren’t able to pull over to safety, you need to make yourself and your car visible. Reflective triangles let other drivers know where you are as to avoid another bad situation. The sooner they know you’re pulled off on the shoulder, the sooner they can give you room and safely pass.
6. Water and Snacks
Blizzards. Pileups. Major traffic events. Each of these instances can leave you without food or water for hours. Having water and snacks will make sure you and your passengers stay hydrated, alert, and have the strength needed to carry on safely.
7. Jumper Cables
A dead car battery can be caused by other issues inside your car, but generally, the solution to your problem is a pair of jumper cables. When help arrives and you’re ready for a jump, having jumper cables on hand gives you access to a quick solution to an otherwise inconvenient problem.
8. A Mini-Toolkit
If your car breaks down, having basic tools inside your car could be the difference between staying stuck for hours or making your way to a repair shop. Top tools to include are a screwdriver, wrench, and hammer. These have multiple purposes and can work wonders to helping you make small repairs needed to get to the mechanic.
9. A Jack and Spare Tire
A flat tire should never be the reason you’re stranded on the side of the road. Flat tires can be easy fixes if you have the right tools. A jack and a spare tire can get you out of a rut in half the time it would take for you to call a tow truck and follow it to a shop.
We live in an area where snowdrifts and icy roads are common. If you’re stranded, you need tools to make working in and being around these wintery conditions safer. Carry a snow shovel to help you dig out of a wintery white situation.
Cold temperatures can plummet quickly. If you’re stranded, you need a way to stay safe from the frigid temperatures. Have some type of warmth available in your car’s emergency kit. At the basic level, having gloves and a blanket will help you maintain your body heat. If you live in or are traveling to a particularly snowy area, carry foil, matches, a cotton ball, and some Vaseline. This will help you start a quick fire to give you extra warmth until help arrives.
Have You Been in a Car Accident in Indianapolis?
Despite the best preparation, car accidents happen. An emergency kit will help you in the moment, but you may need help dealing with injuries, damages to your vehicle, or stubborn insurance companies. If you’ve been in a car accident in Indianapolis, give the law office of Wilson Kehoe Winingham a call at 317.920.6400 to speak with an Indianapolis personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation. You can also fill out a contact form below.
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