Car Emergency Kit Essentials

You don't ever want to think about the “what ifs” or the worst-case scenarios while driving, but you should be prepared. What things do you need to build an emergency kit that will give you not only peace of mind but also give you the tools to handle any situation until help arrives?

To create your emergency kit, you need to foresee what type of events could happen during a road trip, or during just your daily commute. What are your family's medical needs? What types of general road or weather conditions are common in your area?

LC Image - Car Emergency Kit Essentials


As a general motorist's rule of thumb, you should always have jumper cables, a jack wrench, and an extra tire in the trunk of your car. Having these in your car will help if your car battery dies or if something is wrong with your tire. Other items you can purchase include flat tire fixer kits (includes patches for tires and a machine that self-inflates tires) and tow ropes for cases where your car has rolled into a mud patch or snow bank.


In addition to having the tools needed to fix flat tires and restart car batteries, it is also advisable that you also purchase an item that will light up if it is dark outside or if weather conditions decrease your visibility.

Reflective triangles are commonly used when there are accidents because they can be seen in various types of bad weather and at night. These reflectors will signal your need for help, as well as alert other drivers on the road that you are there. Other items that can be used are reflective vests or special light-up signs that send a beacon of light up to a mile away.

First Aid

An important part of your emergency kit is first aid supplies. Your first aid kit should include adhesive Band-Aids of various sizes, sterile gauze pads, medical gloves, antibacterial ointment, burn cream, alcohol wipes or pads, aspirin tablets, and antacid tablets. These items are important because they will clean wounds and may be able to lessen an injury before help arrives. These items also can take care of minor injuries in non-car accident-related events.

If you are unfamiliar with how to administer first aid, or even if you want to be sure of something, you can also include a first aid guide. All of these items may be purchased at your local drug store or grocery market.


It is also important to have body warmers in your emergency kits because of dropping temperatures at night. If your car battery dies, or if the weather is chilly, it will be important to keep warm. Drug and groceries stores sell hand and feet warmers, as well as electric blankets or heated body warmer pads that work by cracking the item to activate the heat. These items are necessary for your kit to keep you healthy and able to wait for help to arrive.

Important “What If” Items

Other items, such as a utility knife, an aluminum shovel, an adjustable wrench, and a screwdriver can come in handy in a variety of scenarios. For example, if your wheel is stuck in a pothole or mud, the shovel may be able to dig it out. It is also important to pack heavy-duty work gloves and duct tape, because these items can protect your body, as well as be used for various purposes.

Another item to add to the kit would be a flashlight with an extra set of batteries. If you want, you may also purchase glow sticks or light-up sticks to crack once you have been in an accident.

Water Hazards

One of the biggest fears of motorists is being trapped in their car while it submerges underwater. Most people know that, after a certain point, they will not be able to open their car doors or windows, which can cause people to panic.

Luckily, a tool called the LifeHammer was invented to be used in this very situation. The LifeHammer has a sharp point to break the glass of your car window after it has been submerged, as well as a razor to cut through a seat belt. It is advised to keep this item close at hand in your car.


While it is unpleasant to think about, accidents happen every day. Some accidents can be avoided, but, for those that cannot, it is important to be prepared. Creating an emergency kit full of various tools, car repair kits, and first aid supplies can give you a good chance at preventing further damage or injury during an accident. Emergency kits can also help other drivers on the road, and they help emergency personnel when they arrive.