Roadside Emergency Kit

Roadside Emergency Kit

Everyone experiences car trouble. Whether it’s a flat tire, a dead battery, or another roadside emergency, chances are that you’ve already experienced something like this, and almost definitely will again. Even if you have access to roadside assistance, it can take time to arrive or you may not have enough cell reception to ask for it, and it’s always good to be prepared for anything. Our friends at Browning Dodge advise all of their customers to prepare for roadside emergencies by keeping a roadside emergency kit in their vehicle at all times.

Basic roadside emergency kits can be found in stores and online, and often run between 30 and 70 dollars. Many drivers, however, may choose to build their own kit, either to customize the contents or to save money on supplies they already have on hand. Building your own roadside emergency kit can be very easy, and starts with locating a mid-sized duffel bag or a sturdy box. Once you have adequate packaging, these are the supplies a basic kit should include:

  • Triangle reflectors and reflective vest
  • Motor oil (a quart or more)
  • Coolant (prediluted, or also include a gallon jug of water)
  • Jumper cables (and/or a jump starter)
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tire sealant
  • Flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Can of tire inflator
  • Screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Paper towels and rags

Those who live in snowy areas should add extra supplies during winter months, such as:

  • Small shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • Windshield de-icer fluid
  • Fluorescent distress flag
  • Bottled water
  • Snack foods (granola bars, raisins, etc)
  • Road salt, sand, and/or cat litter for traction
  • Blanket or space blanket
  • Extra hat, mittens etc
  • In-car cell phone charger

Using these supplies (as well as the jack and spare tire usually built into the vehicle) you can address many minor emergencies that you may encounter on the road, either on your own or with the help of a passenger. Whether you’re unable to contact roadside assistance, or you just don’t want to wait, you’ll appreciate being able to take care of things on your own. If you don’t yet have a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle, take some time this weekend to pull one together. Already prepared for emergencies on the go? Consider building an emergency kit for a young driver in your life who may not have thought to put one in their vehicle. Pair the gift with a lesson in changing tires, checking oil, and other basic maintenance for the ultimate preparation experience.

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