No matter how careful and conscientious a driver you are, you can’t completely avoid car accidents and emergencies. Worse, you don’t know when they will happen. This is why you should always be prepared for these situations, no matter how minor some of them may seem.
To ensure that you can get out of sticky situations on the road safely and efficiently, here’s a list of items that you should always have in your vehicle:
Spare Tyre Plus Tyre Changing and Repair Tools
One of the first things that car owners get lectured about is to always have a spare tyre ready. After all, a tyre can burst, deflate, get punctured, or tear for any number of reasons while you’re driving. And unfortunately, you won’t always be near a petrol station or auto repair shop when this happens.
Of course, a spare tyre isn’t worth anything if you don’t have the tools to mount it. Keep a jack handy, as well as a lug wrench and a torque wrench to make things easier. If there’s only a small puncture, you can probably make do with a sealant and a tyre pump or inflator.
Finally, it always pays to have a tyre pressure gauge to ensure that your tyres are properly inflated. You don’t have to buy anything fancy; what you need is a gauge that shows the most accurate reading.
Aside from a spare tyre, you should also consider carrying spares of easily replaceable car components. These include spark plugs, radiator caps, fuses, and even windshield wiper blades. Having extra radiator hoses is also a good idea, especially if you’re driving in hot weather.
You may also want to keep a few nuts, bolts, and screws handy. Of course, make sure to buy these spare parts from a trusted car parts supplier like this store in Christchurch.
Emergency Tool Kit
There are two approaches you can take when preparing an emergency tool kit for your car: you can buy a prepackaged one or you can build your own. Either way, you need to make sure that these essentials are in that kit:
- Flat screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- A pair of pliers
- A pair of locking pliers
- An adjustable wrench
- Wire cutters
- A pocket knife or multitool
- A small ball peen hammer
- A window breaker and seatbelt cutter
- Electrical tape
- Mechanic’s wire
You can keep most of these in a toolbox or even in a small duffel bag, but the window breaker and seatbelt cutter should be placed in the glovebox or footwell for easy access. Just make sure that everything is organised so you don’t have to root through all of the box or bag’s contents just to find the tool you need.
Did you accidentally leave your headlights on or forget to properly latch the doors? These and other factors can cause your car battery to get discharged faster than normal. You can prevent this from happening by always performing routine checks, especially when you have a battery that’s close to the end of its lifespan.
Should the unwanted happen and your battery dies while driving, having a pair of jumper cables can help you bring it back to life. Once it’s working, go straight to a mechanic and have your batteries checked and tested to see if it needs to be replaced.
First Aid Kit
Sometimes, it’s not your car that needs patching up but rather you or your passengers. Maybe someone is experiencing a bout of motion sickness or an allergy attack. You might also get a few scrapes or cuts if you’re doing impromptu repairs.
With a first aid kit in your car, you can easily address these minor injuries and health concerns. Fortunately, it’s easy to find well-stocked travel first aid kits in pharmacies and even in sporting goods stores.
Some of the things you should have in your first aid kit include adhesive bandages, gauze pads, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic cream, saline solution, antihistamines, over-the-counter pain relievers, tweezers, alcohol, hand sanitiser, cotton balls or swabs, and antiseptic wipes.
These might seem a lot but these are actually pretty basic and can fit in a small bag. Keep the first aid kit in the glovebox or any other accessible area where it won’t get exposed to a lot of heat.
A car fire is one of those extreme mishaps that can feel like something out of a movie. Still, it’s not an impossible occurrence and you have to be prepared to deal with it when it happens.
For this scenario, you’re going to need a fire extinguisher that can put out electrical and gasoline fires. You should also purchase a quick-release mount for the fire extinguisher so that it doesn’t roll around while you’re driving. Note that different types of fire extinguishers have different shelf lives so make sure to take note of these dates.
A reflector triangle or emergency triangle can warn other motorists about your stalled vehicle, so they can manoeuvre around your vehicle safely. This can help prevent further accidents and can also communicate that you need some help; if you’re lucky, someone may stop to assist you.
The bottom line here is that it’s better to be safe and prepared rather than sorry. Besides, even if you don’t end up needing these items at all, they can still be useful for helping others!