7 Things To Put Into Your Car Emergency Kit

lady looking inside the engine of a broken down car

From collisions to engine failure, there are many car-related problems that you can encounter on the road.

And even if you consider yourself to be a careful driver, there’s always some degree of risk that may abruptly present itself as you drive your vehicle.

In case of bad events, it’s important to equip yourself with the right items to assist you in getting through your dilemma.

Being stranded in the middle of some unknown territory without the right gear can be a big headache.

If the weather is particularly intolerable, finding yourself in such situations can even be dangerous and life-threatening.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with these misfortune events empty-handed. Your car likely has enough room for some tools and equipment that can help you get by in case of such emergencies.

If you’re unsure of what emergency equipment to place in your vehicle, allow this article to clear it up for you.

This post is part of our family travel advice series

Here are seven must-have items to put in your car!

1)  Emergency Whistle

In case you get stranded off-road or in a faraway place, an emergency whistle with a high, piercing sound can be a useful tool to attract attention from rescuers and separated individuals.

This can be useful for both you and another party. For instance, if you and a friend have ventured off into different paths, having a whistle in your car can give them the signal of your general location.

This can be used in both emergency and non-emergency situations, making it fairly convenient in its versatility.

It’s also a relatively low-effort endeavour to blow a whistle. Plus, its high pitch can travel long distances.

Furthermore, owing to its small shape, this tool can fit in the glove compartment or a toolbox fairly easily. It’s affordable too, so there’s no reason not to get one!

2)  Seatbelt Cutter and Window Breaker

In emergencies, getting out of the vehicle quickly could be a matter of life and death. Seatbelts can jam, windows can fail to operate, and doors can get stuck.

In such scenarios, a seatbelt cutter and window breaker become invaluable tools.

These two devices can help you quickly and safely escape an emergency situation in your vehicle. It’s important to put these items near the front of the car for easy accessibility.

While the likelihood of you using these items is realistically quite slim, it’s always to have them for your peace of mind.

Speaking of peace of mind, it’s also important to have the right vehicle coverage and comprehensive car insurance.

3)  First Aid Kit

When it comes to emergencies, a fully-packed first aid kit in your car can be a genuine lifesaver. This kit should include bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and OTC painkillers.

It may also include anti-nausea pills and Ziploc containers in case you or your passengers get car sick.

If you are in a road accident, having these items on hand can greatly help protect injuries and sprains from affected individuals.

That said, be sure to keep the items in the kit up-to-date regularly. While shelf-life isn’t always accurate, keeping a fresh stock of medication is best to ensure the usability and effectiveness of whatever’s inside the first aid kit.

4)  Jumper Cables

Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling when you turn the key in your ignition, and nothing happens? This phenomenon is often indicative of a dead battery. In such cases, a pair of jumper cables may be your only saving grace from that situation.

jumper leads being used on a car battery

If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere without jumper cables, you may as well be stranded for good. With jumper cables, however, you can potentially restart your engine and get it back up to speed again.

While it’s not a permanent fix, jumper cables can temporarily jumpstart your vehicle and get it to safer ground. This tool is compact and doesn’t cost much, so don’t wait until you need it to get your vehicle outfitted with one.

5)  Portable Phone Charger

You don’t need to be lectured about the importance of a smartphone, especially in an emergency situation. It acts as a GPS, a communication device, and a miniature information hub all in one.

That said, if you don’t have access to an outlet, finding yourself low on battery can be a big problem—especially if you’re in new and uncharted territory.

This is why getting a portable and compatible phone charger is so important. A fully charged portable charger can provide your phone with enough power to access necessary apps and fulfil a multitude of tasks.

Alternatively, a fully-charged power bank can also be a useful item to have in your car kit. It’ll need to be charged regularly, but if your car is unable to charge phones, then this gadget could be extremely useful in case you’re low on battery.

6)  Spare Tire and Jack

The current condition of your vehicle may be brand-new, but if the road conditions are subpar and filled with sharp objects like rocks or shattered glass, your tires could suffer.

To protect yourself from these situations, having a spare tire and a jack in your vehicle’s baggage compartment is important. These items can help you get your vehicle up and running again without spending excessive time waiting for your car to be towed.

a lady changing a tire with a wrench and high vis jacket

Of course, ensure that you know how to change a tyre before driving on the road. Or, at least, drive through roads with strong data access so that you can watch online tutorials on how to do it. This way, you can feel a lot less helpless when experiencing a flat.

7)  Multi-Purpose Tool

A multi-purpose tool (often abbreviated as ‘multitool’) is a versatile and portable item that every driver should have in their glove box.

This tool is equipped with a knife, screwdriver, can opener, pliers, and a plethora of other items that can be used for emergency and non-emergency situations.

While having a toolbox with the proper tools can also be just as effective (if not more), a multitool comes with the added benefit of being compact and easily retractable.

In emergencies, this tool can provide ample assistance for sawing, sanding, cutting, polishing, and screwing.

While you won’t use the multitool in your car per se, it’s good for when you’re going out camping or on a family road trip and don’t have enough room for your trusty toolbox from back home.

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a road waringin triangle in front of a broken down car titled Car Emergency Kit
items you'd find in a typical car emergency kit

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