Copart Canada Believes a roadside emergency kit is a must-have item for every vehicle. Yet, most of us don’t even carry the basic items needed to help us get back on the road safely if a situation were to arise. We’re talking about those dreaded moments where you must ease your car onto the side of the road and stop because you have a malfunction of some sort. If you have roadside assistance and cell service, you can easily call for help. If not however, you’re stuck waiting for someone to pass by, you’re walking, or you’re spending some quality hours with your car at the side of the road…. stranded. That is, unless you have a well-equipped roadside emergency kit. We at Copart Canada want you to know how to stay safe on the roads when the unthinkable happens.
Depending on your situation, with a well-equipped emergency roadside kit, you could set out flares to alert others of your distress. If you have a flat tire you could re-inflate your tire with a pump, and patch it with a can of sealant, to get you to safety. If you are unable to do either, you’ll be able to hunker down in your vehicle with a blanket, water, and food until help arrives.
When creating your emergency kit, it is important to keep in mind that your kit should be tailored to your vehicle. Your vehicle’s age, the condition of your vehicle, the climates you’re driving in, and lastly, your driving patterns should be factored in.
You never know what type of situation you might be faced with, therefore it’s always best to be prepared.
A basic roadside kit should include:
- First Aid Kit – (Band-Aids, disinfectant, gauze, tape, scissors, rubber gloves, Etc.)
- Jumper Cables
- Flares and/or Reflectors
- Flashlight + Batteries
- Mini Toolkit – (screwdrivers, pliers, vise grips, adjustable wrench, tire pressure gauge, etc.)
- Tire inflator and Sealant
- Spray Bottle with Washer Fluid
- Paper Towels
- Power Bars – Granola Bars
- Bottled Water
- Pen and Note Pad
Additions in the Summer:
- Extra towels
- Car window shades
- Insect repellent
Additions in the Winter:
- Ice Scraper/Snow brush
- Mini snow shovel
- Sand or Cat litter (to use as traction for tires)
- Extra blankets
- Warm clothes (including gloves, jackets, a hat, boots, etc.)
- Hand Warmers
If you want a more detailed kit, consider adding:
- Emergency Escape Tool
- Car fire extinguisher
- Roll of duct tape
- Towing strap or chain
- Emergency car battery charger
- Sleeping Bag(s)
Once you have your emergency roadside kit assembled, you’re going to want to store it in a secure and easily accessible location. We suggest keeping these items in your truck within a backpack, duffle bag, plastic container box, or even a cardboard box.
If you’re reading this thinking, “wow that’s a lot of work for me”, You may also consider buying a pre-assembled emergency roadside kit. Many pre-assembled kits already come in a storage bag or hard case to keep the items organized. A quick online search can show you many options of pre-made emergency kits, ranging in price and size from retailers near you. Some highly rated emergency kits include the AAA Traveler Road Assistance kit, and the Top Gear 1017 Winter Roadside Assistance kit, both available on Amazon.
Now, don’t kid yourself… you may think you know how to use all the items in your kit but let’s be honest, you don’t. Before you need to use your kit in an emergency, take some time to familiarize yourself with the kit and how to use the items properly. We recommend watching the kit manufacturer’s specific how-to videos or exploring YouTube for influencer demonstrations and reviews before using any unfamiliar items in your kit.
Lastly, we will leave you with this important nugget of wisdom: Next to having an emergency kit in your vehicle, the most important thing is to exercise good judgment. If a situation arises, make sure you get your vehicle to the shoulder, out of the flow of traffic, and turn on your hazard lights. If you are within cellphone service and have roadside assistance, stay in your vehicle until help arrives. If you cannot stay in your vehicle, or there is an immediate problem that you can address quickly on your own; take out your emergency kit and proceed with caution. From all of us at Copart Canada, we wish you health and safety on the open road!