There is unfortunately no way to completely eliminate the possibility of getting stuck on the side of the road, whether that’s due to an accident, a car breakdown, or severe weather. That’s why we’ve put together 6 essentials you should always have in your car to help your wait be as safe – and comfortable – as possible.
Every smartphone has a flashlight app these days, but it’s still important to have a dedicated flashlight on hand in your vehicle. If you’re stuck on the side of the road, it’s best to reserve your phone’s battery life for calls.
Before your trip, it’s a good idea to check to make sure the batteries are still working. Better yet, keep some spare batteries on hand for peace of mind that your flashlight won’t run out of juice.
2. Water and snacks
If you’re going on a road trip, there’s a good chance you’ve already packed snacks and beverages for your journey.
However, it’s important to keep water and snacks on hand even if you’re planning to stick to city driving. You never know when you might wind up getting stuck in traffic due to a road closure, or on the side of the road after your car breaks down. If you’re going to be waiting in your car for a while, it’s best to do so comfortably!
3. Cell phone charger (that isn’t attached to your vehicle)
A dedicated cell phone charger is one of those often-overlooked essentials you should always have in your car since most people charge their phones via USB ports.
However, if your car’s battery is dead or you can’t access the USB ports for any reason (such as after an accident), a handheld battery pack will ensure you can keep using your phone when you need it most.
4. Car jack and emergency tire
Many vehicles come with a car jack and emergency tire. If you don’t have one, it may be a good idea to keep one on hand – especially if you have a long commute or regularly drive long distances.
You’ll want to check the air pressure in your spare tire every time you get your tires rotated to help ensure that you don’t wind up stuck on the side of the road with a busted tire and a flat spare.
Alternately, you can always keep a tire repair kit in your vehicle. Just keep in mind that these only work on small punctures and won’t work on tire blowouts.
5. First aid kit
First aid kits often come in handy at the least expected moments – whether at a kids’ sporting event, after a hike in the woods, after getting scraped on rocks at the beach, and more. A first aid kit is invaluable to have and can, of course, be customized with spare medications specific to your family’s needs.
You’ll want to check the contents of your kit every year and replace any medications or ointments that have expired.
6. Emergency escape tool
We hope you never have to use one of these, but an emergency escape tool is an affordable, lifesaving device designed to quickly cut seatbelts and break windows.
Unlike the rest of your kit, you’ll want to make sure this tool is within easy reach so you aren’t scrambling to find it during an emergency.
Specific Travel Considerations
If you’re planning to travel into the mountains during the winter or across the desert in the middle of summer, you may want to take a few minutes to gather some situation-specific supplies for your trip.
If you’re planning to travel through a snowy area, the following essentials you should always have in your car include:
- Sand or kitty litter
- Hand warmers
- Snow scraper
- Jumper cables
Some regions in the western US have extremely long distances between gas stations, so it may be a good idea to pack the following (in addition to the essentials above) just in case:
- Extra water (a sports drink with electrolytes is even better)
- A broad-brimmed hat
Avoid Getting Stuck On The Side Of The Road With T3 Atlanta
These top essentials you should always have in your car are meant to be emergency backups to help keep you comfortable – and hydrated – in case your vehicle breaks down. The best way to prevent your car from breaking down in the first place is to ensure your vehicle is on its regular maintenance schedule. T3 Atlanta can help. With our two convenient metro Atlanta locations, we’ll keep your car in top condition for years to come. Give us a call today, and we’ll book you in for prompt service!