A breakdown on the side of the road, a blizzard from out of nowhere, a dead battery, a flat tire, or getting lost out on a seldom-traveled road can all turn into tales of catastrophe. Whether that catastrophe simply means a late night on the side of the road, a tale told later with a laugh, or the kind of catastrophe that puts you and others in serious jeopardy, may be determined by how prepared you are. Keep all of this equipment and gear in your car at all times to stave off the worst types of breakdown emergencies.
Spare Tire, Tire Jack, Pump, Patch Kit
Every car mostly likely already has a spare tire. But do you know how to install it? You will also need a tire jack and tire iron to make use of the spare tire. Knowing how to use all of these pieces of equipment before you have a breakdown can make all the difference. In addition to the three essential pieces of tire equipment mentioned, it is not a bad idea to also carry a sealing kit and pump if the leak is slow and you can make it to an auto body shop without having to put on the spare tire. You will also want to have a tire gauge readily accessible.
Jumper Cables and Battery Booster
A set of jumper cables is probably the second most important piece of equipment you can carry with you. Remember, knowing how to use them is vital, as the shock from a battery can cause serious burns and electrocution. A battery booster allows you to start your car without the aid of a good samaritan in case you leave your lights on overnight and your battery dies out in the middle nowhere.
Emergency and Safety Kit
The following items will become useful if you get stranded for hours or even days at a time:
- First aid kit
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Matches, lighter, and a candle
- Multi-tool or knife
- Non perishable food, and dry dog food (to make sure you have emergency food that will only be eaten in an emergency)
- At least two gallons of water
- Seat belt cutter
- Window breaker and
- Flares or a reflective triangle
Cold Weather Gear
Keep the following items for cold weather driving and emergencies:
- Carpet, cardboard, or tarp
- Ice scraper
- Space blanket
- Wool or fleece blanket and
- Spare jacket, hat, and gloves
While most emergencies happen in traffic collisions, you can never be too safe and prepared, especially when you head out in inclement weather or off the beaten path. The Federal Highway Administration reports an annual 5.5 million traffic crashes, with 93% of accidents being caused by human error. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a car collision, contact the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC at 212-397-1000 to discuss your legal options with an experienced New York car accident attorney.