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Roadside Emergency Kit

Essential Items to Carry in Your Car

Whether traveling long distances or making a shorter commute, having a roadside emergency kit could be the difference between being stranded for hours or getting back on your journey quickly and safely.   

When assembling your emergency kit, we recommend tailoring it to the age and condition of your vehicle.  Your driving patterns and of course the weather in your area will play a significant role in what items you deem the most important to add to your kit.  Emergency kits are available for purchase, but if you want to put together a basic roadside emergency kit, be sure to include the following items: 

  • Jumper cables. Or you can carry a small, portable, lithium-ion battery with jumper cables. Usually, these batteries will also recharge computers and cell phones. Prices for these batteries range from $60-$120. If you go the battery route, though, make sure to keep it charged.
  • Flares or triangle reflectors. LED flares are also an option worth considering.
  • A quart or more of motor oil
  • A gallon of coolant
  • First-aid kit
  • Blanket or space blanket
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife
  • A can of tire inflator and sealant such as Fix-a-Flat
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Ice scraper (if you live in an area with snow)
  • Pen and paper
  • Granola or energy bars
  • Bottled water

Now that you have your items, the next step is to find a good way to keep these items together in your trunk that is quickly accessible such as a cardboard box or a backpack. While having this roadside kit is a great way to be prepared in case of an emergency, the AAA reports that its most common calls are related to basic maintenance on their drivers’ cars.  Be sure to properly maintain your vehicle, particular before going on a trip and at the change of the seasons.