While no one enjoys the inconvenience of car trouble or the devastating effects of a motor vehicle accident, you can be prepared if the worst happens and you have the necessary roadside emergency essentials at your disposal.
While it’s never a good time of year to have an emergency, winter weather provides the ingredients for a potentially dangerous roadside emergency with extremely low temperatures, gusty winds, sleet, ice, and snow.
Whether you are fixing a flat tire, waiting on a tow truck, or battling the brutal outdoor elements, we have outlined the top roadside emergency essentials you and your family need to stay safe while on the road.
Roadside Emergency Essentials
- Warm Clothes and Waterproof Sleeping Bags
It’s important to remain warm and dry. With frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall, a winter emergency can lower your body temperature and soak your clothes, hair, and skin. That’s why you need a warm change of clothes – including underwear, socks, shoes, hat, gloves or mittens, and scarf – a towel, and blankets.
If you are waiting for a tow truck inside the vehicle or if it becomes necessary to walk long distances in the elements, one waterproof sleeping bag for each member of your family is essential. Don’t forget sleeping mats as well. These are handy to place under your bag so you stay dry while you get some much-needed rest. If possible, preheat your bag with hot water bottles for added comfort.
- Food and Water
An emergency drains your body of energy and can lead to dehydration. Pack your vehicle’s trunk, toolbox, or extra interior space with high-energy food, protein bars, snacks, Gatorade, and bottled water.
Be sure these items do not need to be stored at room temperature – chances are you’ll be needing this items in the winter.
Also, a survival kit is ideal to have on hand anytime you travel.
- Jumper Cables
A dead battery is usually the cause of vehicle that won’t start. Stock your car with a set of jumper cables that measure 12–20 feet in length in case the vehicle coming to your rescue cannot get as close to your vehicle as need be.
If you are in the market for a quality pair, consider these.
- LED Flashlight
If you spend time under the hood, you need a flashlight. With no bulb to change and the ability to work even when the batteries are low, an LED flashlight is a top choice.
Be sure to pack some batteries in the trunk so your flashlight never runs out of fuel!
- Tools to Change a Flat
Know how to change a flat and possess the available tools. Keep a jack and lug wrench in your vehicle to remove and replace the lug nuts for a tire change.
Don’t forget to keep at least a spare tire, if not a full-size spare, on board.
If you’re really ambitious, you could keep a DC converter in your vehicle, and connect a pneumatic wrench.