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When we’re driving down the road, we don’t want to think about potential car emergencies. It’s a scary idea that something could happen to your car and leave you stranded on the side of the road or in need of roadside assistance. However, car incidents do happen and it’s best to be prepared for any situation ahead of time so you can avoid being stuck without help! Let’s go over 11 things you should always keep in your car in case of an emergency.

1. Spare Tire and Tire-Changing Supplies

Having a spare car tire is one of the most common things to keep in your car, but you should also make sure that you have the supplies to be able to change the tire on the side of the road—if nothing else, at least a car jack and lug wrench.

Emergency Car Kit WhirLocal

2. Tire Pressure Gauge

Keeping a tire pressure gauge in your car is also very important. If you’ve lost air on the road and need to do a quick refill, a tire pressure gauge will easily help you know if you’re filling your tire the right amount or if any other tires have lost pressure. Be sure to get your tires routinely checked to prevent future pressure issues.

3. Jumper Cables

Jumper cables (or a jump-start power pack) are another car emergency supply that everyone should always have in their car in case the battery dies. It’s also important to know how to properly use jumper cables in order to keep everyone safe.

Here’s a great instructional video from Les Schwab Tire Center on how to jump a car safely.

4. Flashlight or Lantern

In case of a car emergency at night, it’s important to have a flashlight or lantern in your car. Not only will you be able to see things better if something goes wrong with the car (such as changing a tire or checking under the hood), but you’ll also be able to walk down the road and increase your visibility to other drivers.

5. First Aid Kit

It’s always best to be prepared for any emergency with a first aid kit. In addition to basic supplies such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, and alcohol wipes, you can also include other things like gauze pads, safety pins, adhesive tape, tweezers, curved scissors, saline solution, cotton balls, and pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

6. Car Hammer and Seatbelt Cutter

If you are in an accident and need to make split-second decisions, it’s important to have car tools that can help break windows or cut seatbelts. These tools will help you break car windows or cut someone’s seatbelt off of them if necessary to escape from the car safely. Keep them somewhere near the driver’s seat that is easily accessible and fasten them with velcro or another method to be sure they won’t fly across the car in the event of the car turning over.

7. Emergency Flares or Reflective Triangles

Keeping emergency car flares or reflective triangles in your car is helpful for making yourself visible and safe if you are forced to stop on the side of the road. Even if you turn your hazard lights on, emergency flares or reflective triangles can help increase visibility or signal that you need assistance.

8. Blanket

A warm, water-resistant blanket is another versatile item to have in your car in case of an emergency. Water-resistant blankets not only keep you warm if it’s cold, but they can also protect against the elements if it’s raining or snowing. If you need to change a tire or do other maintenance on the side of the road, laying the blanket down can be a barrier between you and the wet pavement. Additionally, if your tires are spinning in mud or snow and you can’t find traction, placing the blanket underneath your tire can help you get the boost you need to get back on the road (although you may want to save it for your last option if it’s the only thing keeping you warm).

9. Duct Tape

Yes, you read that right! Duct tape has many temporary uses if something minor goes wrong with the car while you are driving down the road. While you shouldn’t rely on duct tape to fix everything, it can come in handy on short notice!

10. Good Pair of Walking Shoes

In case you need to walk for a while to find a gas station or roadside assistance, you’ll want to have sturdy walking shoes or boots. Keep an extra pair in your car (along with a thick pair of socks) in case you find yourself in this situation.

11. Water

Last but not least, keep a large bottle or jug of drinking water in your car and change out the water regularly so it’s always fresh in case you need it. You don’t want to worry about dehydration when you’re navigating a car issue, and this is a great way to be prepared.

Just by having a few fundamental supplies or tools in your car at all times, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ll be ready for most car-related emergencies or situations. In addition to this basic list, what other things would you add?