Emergency Preparedness Behind the Wheel

Anything can happen when you’re on the road during any time of year. That’s why it’s important to be prepared! Whether it’s a flat tire, inclement weather or a medical emergency, there are several items you should keep in your car in case of any unexpected circumstances.

As a driver, there are two types of roadside emergencies you should be aware of: mechanical/recovery and survival/emergency.

Mechanical and/or recovery roadside emergencies can be prevented through regular maintenance of your vehicle and a quick circle check before you hit the road. With that said, unexpected damages are a possibility and having the right tools on hand could really help you out! Some of the most common mechanical failures are drained batteries and flat or deflated tires.

Avoid the uncertainty and expense that comes with calling a tow truck! Keep a car jack and spare tire handy to fix or replace a flat tire. If you’re stuck with a dead battery, jumper cables and a good Samaritan with a fully charged vehicle makes for a quick fix! In any case where there is no one present to give you a boost, emergency car battery chargers can get your car started in no time.

Other common mechanical emergency items include:

  • Tire pressure gauge

  • Flashlight and extra sets of batteries

  • Duct tape

  • Multipurpose tools and a small universal tool kit

  • Window scrapers (in case of wiper/defroster malfunctions)

  • Shovel

In some cases, roadside emergencies are not quick fixes and could leave you stranded without a working vehicle. Whether you’ve been in a serious accident or you’ve been stopped due to extreme weather, an emergency survival kit is recommended in order to keep yourself and everyone else safe until help arrives.

One of the most important items recommended for a roadside emergency and survival kit is a fire extinguisher. According to the National Fire Protection Association, vehicle fires are generally caused by flammable liquids or electrical sources. Some fire extinguishers are not suitable for both types of fires so it’s important to obtain one that can handle both. A good example of a suitable auto fire extinguisher would be the First Alert extinguisher.