4 Types of Items Every Car Emergency Kit Should Include


According to a recent study, 2021 is the “Year of the Road Trip,” as 76% of Americans planned to travel more in 2021 than they did in 2020 or 2019, but less than 21% of the 10,000 surveyed participants stated they planned to travel by plane. If you’re also planning a road trip, consider preparing an emergency kit before embarking. Here are four categories of essential items to include in your roadside emergency kit.

1. Be sure you have the proper equipment to change a tire

Maintaining the correct pressure in your tires can reduce the chances of getting a flat tire, but it’s best to be prepared should one occur. It’s vital to always have a spare tire in your car, but according to a 2017 AAA survey, almost one-third (28%) of vehicles in that model year did not come with a spare tire as standard equipment. Familiarize yourself with the process for changing a tire, and be sure you have the right equipment in your car:

  • Properly inflated spare tire
  • Lug wrench
  • Carjack
  • Work gloves
  • Tire repair kit

2. Make use of items that help you see and be seen

Having reflective gear and a light source can help you manage the darkness if you’re ever stranded at night. By using reflective triangles placed at 50-foot intervals, you can help make your vehicle more visible to oncoming traffic, and a flashlight or headlamp will provide you with light to check a flat tire or make simple repairs. Remember to pack extra batteries for your light source. Other equipment for low light situations includes the following:

  • Waterproof matches
  • Lighter
  • Long burning emergency candles
  • Hand-crank flashlight or lantern
  • Reflective tape
  • Reflective clothes

3. A basic tool kit can help with simple repairs

A suitable tool kit can help you make a simple repair, even when you’re far from help. Even with simple items like duct tape, you can create a makeshift adjustment that will allow you to get to a safe destination. Be sure your kit includes the basics:

  • A multi-bit screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Box cutter
  • Duct tape
  • Allen wrench
  • Tire pressure gauge

4. Don’t forget to carry necessities to take care of yourself

If you’re stranded due to extreme weather or an automobile breakdown, you may have to bide your time until help can arrive. In these situations, you’ll want personal care items to help you stay safe and comfortable while you wait. Consider packing the following:

  • Cellphone with emergency contacts
  • Charger for your cellphone
  • Rain poncho
  • First aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods
  • Drinking water

Road trips have a long tradition, from storied byways like Route 66 to eclectic roadside attractions like the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. If you’re planning a road trip or just find yourself traveling a lot by car, be sure to take the time to prepare a car emergency kit before heading toward your destination. Remember also to check that you have the right auto insurance. If you haven’t reviewed your policy in a while, contact Westwood Insurance Agency for a coverage review.