Top 7 Things To Include In Your Road Safety Kit
There are a lot of macho types out there who think that they have no need for a road safety kit, because they are ace mechanics who always have their vehicles in tip-top working condition, and they are never going to break down. Unfortunately, this is the kind of confidence that can get many people into a huge heap of trouble, especially if they end up broken down at the side of the road and there is nothing they can do about it because they don’t have the right tools.
Forget about the macho attitude, and take the time to create a road safety kit that has everything you will need for any type of road emergency. Actually, having a road safety kit will show how mature and responsible you really are, and you will not have to worry about protecting your image, because you will always be prepared for anything.
What You Need to Include in Your Road Safety Kit
There are certain items that should be included in every road safety kit. Of course, depending on where you live, there may be things on this list that you do not need, but they are still listed, just in case. To ensure that you are going to be safe and sound no matter what type of situation you are in while on the road, make sure that you have the following items in your road safety kit:
- Tools: There are certain tools that you should always carry with you in your vehicle, and it is best to just put them right in the trunk, and leave them there so that they are always there when you need them. Some of the tools you should have in your road safety kit include a lug wrench, a spare tire, a jack, a flashlight (breakdowns are not just limited to daylight hours), screwdrivers, a hammer, jumper cables and a can of WD-40, which can come in handy in a lot of situations. (You can even use it to spray on exposed wires to keep them from getting wet until you can get to a garage to get them repaired.) You should also have a blanket or a plastic mat to use if you end up having to sit on the ground, in order to protect your clothing from dirt and to help you stay dry.
- Road Flares: If you are broken down on the side of the road at night, it may be difficult for other drivers to see you, and you could end up with even more problems. A good set of road flares will help ensure that other drivers see you from a distance, so they can slow down and be careful as they pass by your vehicle. If you do not want to use flammable road flares, you can also get flashing LED strobe lights that will do the same thing.
- Extra Clothing: You never know if you are going to end up stranded some place where it is cold, so you should always have a change of clothing, including a heavy jacket or coat, in your road safety kit. If you live in a colder climate, you probably already do this anyway. You may even want to put in some long underwear, because you never know how long you may have to be out in the cold weather.
- Blankets and Pillows: Again, if you are going to be where the temperatures are cold, you should be prepared. Having blankets or sleeping bags in the car will help to keep you warm until help arrives if you are broken down in the cold, and a pillow will help to make things even more comfortable.
- Salt and Sand: If you are driving in the winter, you should always have salt and/or sand in your road safety kit. There are a couple of reasons for this. Using salt will help to melt ice around your tires if you are stuck. The sand will provide you with the traction you need to get your tires to stop spinning and actually get you unstuck. The added bonus is that having these in your vehicle will provide you with added weight, which will help with traction.
- Snacks: You should always keep some non-perishable foods in your car. If you end up broken down, it could be for a while, and you will end up getting hungry. Keep things such as trail mix, bottled water, beef jerky and other packaged treats in the car so you have them in case of emergency. (Just try not to keep getting into them every time you get into your car).
- Matches or Lighter: Even if you are not a smoker, it is still a good idea to keep matches or a lighter around. You can use them to light small fires to melt snow and ice from around your vehicle, and if you are stranded in the cold, you can even light a small fire to keep warm. If you also have a tin can and a candle, you can place the lit candle in the can and set the whole thing in the snow near your tires. This will help to heat and melt the snow so you can get unstuck.
These are some of the more important things that you should always have in your vehicle in case of emergency.
If you can think of anything else, by all means, include it. You need to do whatever it takes to keep you safe and comfortable in any type of situation.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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