Too many people do not give much thought to preparing for issues that may arise on the road. Their trunks are empty, they have no supplies, and if they ever break down, they are out of luck and at the mercy of passersby.

A little preparation can go a long way if disaster strikes on the road. If you stock your car with a few basic items, you will be able to handle matters if you are in a car accident, your car breaks down, or you are stranded in bad weather. There are several types of market-ready car kits you can purchase, or you can make your own.

Below are some essential items you want to include and always keep with you. This is a fairly comprehensive list, but make sure you assess your own personal needs and pack accordingly.

1. Car Repair and Maintenance Kit

You probably cannot fix a major mechanical issue on the roadside if your car breaks down, but you can prepare yourself for other simple issues like flat tires. Carrying a few repair and maintenance items in the car can help you in a pinch.

  • Spare tire – Carrying a spare tire in your trunk should be a no-brainer, but it is amazing how many people either do not have one, have a flat or unusable one, or do not have the other necessary items to change a tire like a jack and tire iron. Also, if you do not know how to actually change a tire, having a spare will do you no good; make sure you take the time to learn how to change one or give yourself a refresher if you forgot.
  • Fix-a-Flat – Keep a can of tire inflator and sealer, like Fix-a-Flat, in the car so you can plug an air leak in your tire. This is a quick and easy fix until you are able to have a shop replace it.
  • Jumper cables – Dead batteries are common, and keeping a set of cables can be a lifesaver when you are stuck and just need a jump. You may also want to consider buying an emergency battery booster in case no one stops to help.
  • Tire gauge – Check your tire pressure regularly to ensure your tires are safely inflated and to increase fuel economy.
  • Roadside assistance information – Keep the contact information for any roadside assistance programs you subscribe to, such as AAA or your insurance provider, in your glove box.

2. Safety and Emergency Kit

Being stranded is no fun and it can be downright dangerous if you are in the middle of nowhere. Keeping safety and survival items can enable you to deal with injuries, get out of an emergency, and help save lives.

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Include the following items in your car emergency kit:

  • Flashlight
  • First aid supplies
  • Flares
  • A Swiss Army knife or other multi-tool
  • Matches/lighter
  • Weather radio (you can buy a solar-powered or crank-powered one)
  • Water bottles
  • Energy or protein bars
  • Seat belt cutter and window breaker
  • Ice scraper and Mylar blanket (if you are travelling in cold areas)
  • Extra medicine, if needed
  • A phone charger (look into buying a portable battery pack for your phone in case you cannot use the charger)

3. Comfort Items Kit

While a comfort kit is not essential, it can surely make life easier while you are on the road. Consider keeping the following convenience items stowed away in your car:

  • Paper towels or rags
  • Toilet paper
  • Pens and paper
  • A poncho or an umbrella
  • Emergency money
  • Garbage bag
  • A blanket
  • A change of clothes

Keep in mind that you should replace certain items in your car kit every couple of years. Refresh your water and protein bar supply periodically and make sure to restock any used items.

For more helpful safety articles for drivers in Houston, visit our blog. If you ever suffer an injury in an accident, contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™ at 713-714-1414. We are available 24/7 for our clients and even make house calls. Se habla español.