Prepare For the Unexpected: What to Have in Your Car Emergency Kit

Updated September 20, 2022

Sometimes unexpected things happen in life. You may think you’re invincible when you’re driving, but the fact of the matter is an unexpected event can occur at any time. What if you run out of gas along the highway and you’re miles away from the nearest gas station? Or what if your tires blow out? Are you prepared? Here’s how to prepare for the unexpected and why you should have an auto emergency kit in your car (and what to pack!).

Car Emergency Kits Should Include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Spare cell phone charger and/or battery 
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Toolkit & multipurpose tool
  • Reflective triangles
  • First aid kit

Other Emergency Items to Keep in the Car

  • Inflated spare tire
  • Jack
  • Fuel canister
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road flares
  • Poncho
  • Blanket
  • Snow brush and shovel (if applicable)

Preventative Measures to Avoid Emergencies

Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times, especially during cold weather. By doing so, you’ll ensure you never run out of gas, one of the most common causes of a roadside emergency.

Prepare for mechanical repair. Have some essentials packed in your auto emergency kit, such as pliers, a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, locking pliers, wire cutters, and jumper cables. If you run into mechanical issues and are stranded on the side of the road, it might be something you can fix on your own if you’re prepared with the right tools.

Have survival essentials stored. In the event of a roadside emergency where you’re isolated, is your vehicle equipped with essentials for survival, such as water, food, and warmth? Having water bottles, water purification tablets and a wool blanket packed could mean the difference between life and death.

It’s not easy to think about emergency situations but when you’re driving, unexpected roadside emergencies can happen. Be prepared for the worst and have a car emergency kit in your vehicle. It can, quite literally, save your life.

Learn more about our Illinois Online Driving Program or contact Top Driver with any questions. 

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