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Emergency roadside kit and triangle next to car

Emergency roadside kit and triangle next to car

While today’s cars are much more reliable than they used to be, car breakdowns and collisions still happen. This is why it’s essential that you are as prepared as you can be for any roadside emergency. And the first step to taking the necessary safety precautions is preparing an emergency kit to keep in your car at all times.

Every vehicle should have one as it can make all the difference and turn an unpleasant situation into a more manageable one. So here’s a list of things you need in your emergency roadside kit.

First-aid kit

Unfortunately, car accidents happen, and if you’re ever involved in a minor collision, you will find that having a first-aid kit at your disposal can make all the difference. You can assemble your own first-aid kit or buy a pre-packaged one online. But make sure it includes bandages, gauze, tape, aspirin, antibiotic ointments, a cold compress, gloves, hand sanitizer, allergy medicine or any other medication you and your family members might need.

Spare tire

Every emergency roadside kit should have a spare and properly-inflated tire. You also need to have prior knowledge of how to change a flat tire. It’s not that complicated if you follow a video tutorial and you have the right gear. If you ever get a flat tire, you need a jack, a wrench, and a pipe, so make sure you store the necessary tools in your trunk.

Jumper cables

Jumper cables are one of the most common items found in emergency roadside kits. You never know when your car battery will completely give out on you, so you need to be prepared in case it does. Instead of being stranded on the road for hours at a time, you can bring your battery back to life and get back on the road in a matter of minutes. Granted, you need a good samaritan to let you use their vehicle for a jumpstart, but what are friends for if not to lend you a helping hand in your time of need.

Multipurpose tool kit

A multipurpose tool kit can save you so much time, money, and energy when your car suddenly breaks down and there are no gas stations or repair shops in the vicinity. Your basic tool kit should include a tire pressure gauge, pliers, utility gloves, replacement fuses, screwdrivers, engine oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, tire inflator and sealant, one or two pocket knives, as well as duct tape.


Having a flashlight and extra batteries in your emergency roadside kit goes without saying. You’re probably thinking ‘I can use my phone flashlight’. But in case of an emergency, you can’t use your phone as a source of light because that will drain the battery. Always keep a powerful waterproof flashlight with extra batteries in your car. You never know when you might need it, but it sure will make an otherwise scary experience into a more manageable one.

Reflective flares and vest

If your car breaks down in the middle of a congested highway or busy intersection, especially during nighttime, you always want to make sure that other drivers can see you. Sometimes, it takes more than just turning your car blinkers on to alert other people of your position. This is where reflective flares come in handy. Put the flares around your vehicle and wear your reflective vest so other drivers can clearly see you.

Nonperishable snacks and water

If your car breaks down or gets stuck in a ditch, knowing that you have sufficient sustenance for the next couple of hours can be very comforting. Waiting for a towing service to arrive at the scene and recover your vehicle can take quite some time, but you don’t have to do it on an empty stomach. Pack some granola bars, unsalted nuts, dried fruit, or crackers in your glove compartment. Make sure to also include bottled, canned or even boxed water.

Cold weather gear

This one is for people who live in colder climates and frequently navigate icy and slippery roads. Keeping one or two blankets and warm clothing in your trunk can be lifechanging when you’re stranded on the side of the road in freezing temperatures. You should also consider keeping a bag of sand or cat litter and a snow shovel and ice scraper in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow and you need more traction to move it.

Fire extinguisher

Having a fire extinguisher in the car is a no-brainer. Sometimes a minor car accident and a small fire can instantly escalate into a critical situation. Both bystanders and drivers can sustain serious injuries from an incident that could have been easily prevented.

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