Car emergency kits important for safety

By Morgan Goddard, Assistant Editor 

A good driver is always prepared. Breakdowns can happen anytime, anywhere.

Start the new year out with safety in mind. In addition to having the necessary equipment handy to change a flat tire, there are some other items you should always have on hand in your car emergency kit.

The obvious item that comes to mind is a First Aid kit. You can buy many already prepared kits, but they can be costly or contain items that you don’t really need. If you plan on creating your own kit, some of the items to include are: band-aids, hand sanitizer, antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, bug spray, aspirin (or similar), cotton balls, gauze pads, tweezers, bandana, and an ace bandage.

James Goddard, a restorer of antique automobiles, said “My top three items to always have in the car are jumper cables, a flashlight, and an emergency blanket.”

Some optional items for your roadside kit include: collapsible shuttle, batteries, ice scraper, cat litter for slick roads, small battery-powered fan, blankets and/or warm clothing, tarp, road flares, flashlight, drinking water, and non-perishable snacks.

Some recommend keeping fluids like oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid in your vehicle as well. If you have an older car, add these to your kit, but if you regularly check your fluids, you shouldn’t need these. Remember, this list is in addition to what you already have on hand for changing a tire. Store all of your roadside emergency items in one complete package.

This isn’t a definite list by any means, and you should always cater it to your specific medical needs, seasonal issues, or geographical location. Check out the Department of Motor Vehicles for a more complete list, and proper ways to package your kit.