Five Items You'll Need In Your Roadside Emergency Kit

Posted on: 7 June 2017


To prepare for roadside emergencies, you'll want to put together a  standard survival kit containing water, blankets, and food. You will also want to have a cold weather kit with an ice scraper, snow shoes, etc. For more mundane emergencies, you'll need a basic roadside emergency kit as well. Here are five items you'll need to bring if you want to be able to extricate yourself from typical roadside emergencies.

1. Spares

Spare tires are a must, but you'll also want to include spare windshield cleaning liquid, spare motor oil, a can of fuel, and spare parts, such as light bulbs for your turn signals (you can get a ticket if you don't replace blown bulbs right away). You may even want to include spare windshield wipers and spare fuses in case of electrical problems to be extra prepared.

2. Traction tools

A shovel is great if you get stuck in a muddy or slushy situation, but having something to put under your wheels in order to allow you to escape from the ruts in question can be a lifesaver. Some options include kitty litter or sand, specially made traction mats or grip pads, and tire chains.

3. Tire changing tools

Basic tire changing tools come with most cars, but usually these are super flimsy and not likely to ensure a safe tire changing situation. Bringing your own jack can make the experience not just safer, but also much easier. Plus, in addition to having spare tires, you should bring a supply of a type of sealant that can repair tires in an emergency; if you have really rotten luck, you could get more than one flat tire on the same trip.

4. Basic repair tools

You can pack your own tool set for basic roadside repairs or buy a preassembled one. These come with tools such as jumper cables, pliers, wrenches, pressure gauges, and air compressors. It's probably best to assemble your own in order to customize it to your vehicle's needs (depending on what tools are required to work on your car, what types of breakdowns your car has most often, and so on). Additionally, you should have a device to jump start your car in an emergency in case there are no other cars nearby.

5. Emergency flares

Some stretches of road are way out in the middle of nowhere. There are plenty of roadways that don't even have enough cell service to call 911. Emergency flares are a must.

While having all these items can help you if your car breaks down, you should always know who to call if you need roadside assistance. Keep some emergency numbers programmed into your phone or keep a list of contacts in your glovebox.