You cannot predict a roadside emergency, but you can prepare for one. Having the right emergency equipment in your car can literally be life-saving under dire circumstances. Even if the situation is not life or death, having emergency gear on hand can make you safer, calmer and more comfortable while you wait for help to arrive. Keep a few key items in your trunk or glovebox for better peace of mind.
A flashlight can be a very important tool to have handy in an emergency. If your car dies at night, you will not have the assistance of your headlights or interior lights to see what you are doing. Even if you break down in the daytime, having a flashlight can help you look under your hood or vehicle. Keep spare batteries for your flashlight in your vehicle as well, or else use a hand-crank flashlight.
A first-aid kit can be helpful if you or someone else gets minor injuries in a car accident, such as cuts and scrapes. Keep your first-aid kit stocked with the essentials, such as Band-Aids, gauze, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, adhesive tape, hand sanitizer and any necessary medications for people in your family, such as an EpiPen or inhaler. Remember to replace any products you use after an incident on the road.
Jumper cables are a simple but useful tool to keep in your trunk. A dead battery is one of the most common reasons for vehicle breakdowns in Texas. Your battery might die if you leave your lights on overnight, fail to properly maintain your car or simply have an old battery. You will not be able to restart your car with a dead battery unless you can give the battery a jump. Having jumper cables in your vehicle can also allow you to help someone else with this problem.
It is always a good idea to carry a multipurpose tool in your vehicle or on your person, especially on long car trips. An all-in-one device that has basic tools such as a screwdriver, tire pressure gauge, knife and tweezers may enable you to fix minor vehicle problems yourself. It is also wise to carry a multi-purpose utility tool for self-defense while waiting on the side of the road for help to arrive.
Flags and Flares
A common disaster that causes serious injuries and deaths is a driver crashing into a disabled vehicle in the middle of the road. If you are unable to move your disabled vehicle out of the road after a breakdown or a car accident, you can use flags, triangles or flares to make other drivers aware of your presence. This could mean the difference between a driver noticing your stopped car or crashing into you and causing further injuries. You should also use your hazard lights whether or not you have flags or flares in your emergency kit.
Most drivers do not go anywhere without their cellphones. Always bring yours so you can call AAA or someone else for assistance if your car breaks down. As part of your emergency kit, include an extra phone charger and a spare battery pack so your phone does not die when you need it the most. If you do breakdown without a phone available, try to flag someone down to call for help or walk to the nearest convenience store to make a call, if it is safe to do so.
Keeping a blanket in your vehicle can serve a few purposes. If you break down in the middle of winter, a blanket could prevent hypothermia. If you are in a car accident or witness one happen, wrapping a blanket around the victim can be comforting and prevent the person from going into shock. A blanket can also act as a barrier between you and the ground if you need to get under your vehicle to check something after a breakdown. Keeping these key emergency items in your car can help you prepare for anything.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, speak with a San Antonio car accident attorney for legal assistance.