11 Emergency Essentials To Keep In Your Car

Emergency car kitThe weather is warm, vacation has started, you’re 50 miles from your destination—and chances are you’re not thinking about what could go wrong on the road ahead.

“While no one can plan for car trouble, in emergency situations it is helpful to have some preparations in place,” says Mindy West, GEICO director of Centralized Services. So stock your car with these basics and don’t forget to replace water and batteries as needed.

1. First-aid kit & accessories

Add a flashlight and whistle to your basic first-aid kit. Set a calendar reminder to change the flashlight batteries every few months.

2. Basic tools

Always be sure to have at least three tools on hand: a screwdriver (to tighten up something that’s been loosened by vibration or age), a torque wrench (to correctly set nuts) and a utility knife (in case you ever need to cut yourself out of your seatbelt after an accident).

3. Gloves

Protecting your hands is a must, no matter what the temperature. Opt for sturdy mechanic gloves made of leather or a rubber and synthetic combination.

4. Tow rope and bungee cords

These can be invaluable to help get you out of a jam. To use the tow rope, you’ll need to find another car that’s able to yank yours to safety. Bungees help you safely secure an item to your car’s roof.

5. Warning triangles and light sticks

Make certain other motorists can see you, day or night. Bonus: Since they don’t need batteries, you don’t have to worry about upkeep.

6. Tire pressure gauge

Tire pressure—which ensures maximum handling, traction and durability—fluctuates with the temperature, so it’s important to keep a gauge handy. Tires may become over-inflated when the outside temperature is hot and under-inflated when it’s cold.

7. Phone charger

As important as your phone itself. Add an adapter for the cigarette lighter if your car doesn’t have a USB port.

8. Jumper cables

In case your car battery goes dead. And of course, you should know how to use them. (Psst… here’s how to jump-start your car.)

9. Water and snacks

In case of an emergency, they’ll provide sustenance until help arrives.

10. Extra clothes

For unexpected outdoor adventures, pack a rain jacket and at least one layer of clothing to keep you warm.

11. Kitty litter

Stuck in the mud or snow? With a small bag in the trunk, you’ll be able to sprinkle some around your tires for traction.

With 24/7 assistance from GEICO Emergency Roadside Service (ERS) available on your GEICO Mobile app, you’ll be back on the road in no time with a spare tire or a jump. Add ERS to your policy, starting at just $14 per year, per car.  

By Lucy Maher

Next: Top 4 Causes of Summer Car Breakdowns

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  1. Sandra Hexner says

    Thanks for mentioning a tow rope for your emergency essentials. One time I got stranded and someone was great to come and help, but if it wasn’t for me to bring my tow rope, they couldn’t have gotten me safely off the highway. I agree that a tow rope is invaluable and will always be kept in my car just in case.

  2. Deborah Thomas-Crawford says

    THANKS GEICO for all of this vital information that will save lives and save our cars too!!!!!!!!!