Car Care Tips

Tips to keep your car on the road.

Safety April 5, 2018

What Should Be in an Emergency Car Kit?

Emergency car kit

Whether you’re right in the thick of winter or the spring flowers are starting to bloom, it’s important to be prepared no matter what the weather forecast looks like. Problems that occur with your vehicle can be weather related, but that’s not always the case.

Regardless of driving conditions, accidents, breakdowns, or random weather events can happen at any time, meaning unexpected time in your car. Sometimes emergency services are delayed or unreachable, and it’s important to be prepared.

Putting together an Emergency Car Kit will give you peace of mind and resources in the event that you should need them.

What Should Be in an Emergency Car Kit?

Things You Should Have:

Keep a bag of items in the back of your car or an enclosed compartment so they are easily accessible in case of an emergency.

Here is a checklist of things to gather and store in your car:

  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Blankets
  • Nonperishable snacks
  • Bottles of water
  • Waterproof gloves
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Ice scraper, snow brush, and a small shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares
  • Bag of kitty litter (It’s true! Even if you don’t have a cat, it’s smart to keep some in your car. It can prevent your windows from fogging up and give your car more traction in the snow).

Things You Should Do:

In addition to having the items listed above, it’s imperative to ensure that your vehicle is safely equipped for travel. Before hitting the road, be sure to do the following:

  • Fill up your gas tank
  • Check tire pressure
  • Ensure windshield wipers are working
  • Confirm your defroster is working
  • Ensure your heat and AC are working

What if something does happen?

In the event that you get stuck or stranded, there are a few steps you can take to handle the situation safely and effectively.

  1. Stay calm: The worst thing you can do in an emergency situation is panic. Take slow, deep breaths and stay focused on what you can control.
  2. Check your surroundings: Even if you are pulled off to the side of the highway, it can be extremely dangerous to get out of your car. Make sure to check your surroundings before exiting your car because drivers in oncoming traffic might not be able to see you, especially if weather conditions are poor. If you can, move your vehicle to a safe area before exiting your vehicle. Once you can exit your vehicle make sure to stand far away from traffic and that you never stand in front of your car.
  3. Put on your hazards: Turning your flashers on makes you more visible to drivers and emergency personnel who might be looking for you.
  4. Call for help: Depending on the situation, call emergency services, a representative from your car insurance, or towing services. Then, make sure you notify a friend or family member of exactly where you are and what’s going on.

The Important of Preventative Maintenance

While unexpected road conditions and weather events happen, practicing preventative maintenance can help reduce the chances of something in your car malfunctioning.  This also extends the longevity of your vehicle and can minimize the costs that are associated with unexpected repairs.

The top five most important aspects to address during regularly scheduled maintenance include: oil and other fluids, filters, brake pads, spark plugs, and timing belts. If any one of these components is lacking or damaged, or if you hear something out of the ordinary, it’s important to get this addressed immediately.

Take advantage of our 25-point inspection to identify any outstanding issues.

You Can Never Be Too Prepared

We care about the safety of our customers and their families. Schedule regular maintenance at your local Virginia Tire & Auto to ensure that your car is safe for the road. Make an appointment today!

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