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Emergency Roadside Kit

from PLC Insurance

by Michelle Ferris on May 19, 2015

Have you ever had to drive through the night? In remote areas?

  • What would happen if your car had problems?
  • Would you be prepared?

Use our list to create a helpful roadside emergency kit to keep in your car in case something happens.


Don’t Get Stranded

It’s late, and you’ve been driving on a desolate road. Instantly, you know something has gone wrong – controlling your car has become more difficult. Your fingers are crossed as you ease over to the side of the road. When you get out, you see that the left rear tire is flat… and you’re already running on your spare.

You might be lucky enough to have OnStar or be a member of AAA and have a cell phone that is in range. Or you might not.

If not, you might be stuck flagging down help on the roadside (if anyone is even around) or spending a night in the boonies. But if you have a well-stocked emergency roadside kit in the trunk of your car, you may be able to avoid it altogether and be back on the road in a jiff.

An emergency roadside kit can mean getting back on the road, or being stuck for a long (and sometimes unreasonable) amount of time. Every vehicle should be stocked with an emergency roadside kit – but most of us never carry any of the basic items to help us get back on the road quickly and safely!

Some of the basic items include:

  • 12-foot jumper cables
  • Four (4) 15-minute roadside flares
  • Two (2) quarts of oil
  • Gallon of antifreeze
  • Extra fuses
  • Flat head screwdrivers
  • Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Vise Grips
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tire inflator (such as Fix-A-Flat)
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Rags
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Pocketknife
  • Ice scraper
  • Pen & paper
  • Help sign
  • Bottled water
  • Granola or energy bars
  • Heavy-duty nylon bag (for your kit)
  • Flashlight & extra batteries (headlamps are great when you need your hands free)
  • Emergency blanket
  • First aid kit, including: bandages, gauze, tape, antiseptic cream, instant ice & heat compress, scissors, aspirin & ibuprofen (warning: do NOT give aspirin to children!) and anti-histamines

Yes, carrying all these items does require a fair amount of trunk space. However, you can put together a smaller, basic version that takes up minimal truck space.

Be sure to include:

  • Two roadside flares
  • A quart of oil
  • Small first aid kit
  • Extra fuses
  • Flashlight
  • Leatherman Tool (or any other multipurpose tool commonly containing: pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, bottle opener, screwdrivers, files and an awl)
  • Tire inflator
  • Rags
  • Lighter
  • Pocket knife
  • Pen and paper
  • Help sign

Before you use your kit in an emergency situation, take a little time and familiarize yourself with the items you’ve collected and how to use them. And remember, the most important item you can bring with you is your own good judgment – be sure to make stops and work on repairs in a place that is safe and you have less chance of injury.

No one has yet built the one magical tool for all your roadside emergency needs. But with some planning and a touch of trunk space, your emergency roadside kit might just end up saving the day.

© 2018, PLC Insurance. The reader assumes all responsibilities for his/her own actions in regards to any items discussed in this report. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, federal, state and local, governing the use of any product or service described in this report in the US or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the reader. The publisher and author assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of the reader of these materials. The reader is encouraged to consult directly with his/her insurance professional.

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