A summer car emergency kit is inexpensive insurance that can help you get through unexpected situations on the road. By bringing along a small number of important items, you’ll be ready for whatever surprises you might encounter during the hottest and most traffic-filled months of the year.
Check out our suggestions for five crucial items that should definitely be in your emergency kit.
1. First Aid Kit
It seems like an obvious thing to lead with, but a first aid kit should be in everyone’s trunk, glove box or cargo compartment. A small kit that includes bandages, antiseptic, scissors, Band-Aids and painkillers is easy to bring with you and quickly justifies its inclusion the first time you have to deal with an injury out on the road.
2. Bottled Water
If you break down on the side of the road, there’s no way of telling how long it will take before help is able to arrive. With the sun beating down on a scorching afternoon, it’s important that you stay as hydrated as possible to avoid a serious health issue. Keeping a half-dozen bottles of water in your vehicle as part of your summer car emergency kit is absolutely essential.
At the same time, not all problems happen during the day. If you’re stranded by the roadside in the middle of the night, you don’t want to be without a flashlight or two to guide your way. Flashlights don’t just help you see, but they can also help others see you, which is just as important if you’re in an area without street lights or other forms of illumination.
4. Cellphone Charger
If your car is dead, then it’s only a matter of time before your cellphone battery is drained, too. Without your phone, you may not be able to direct first responders or a tow truck to your location, or get in touch with loved ones to let them know what the situation is. Sticking a topped-up portable cellphone charger in your summer car emergency kit can extend your phone’s usefulness in a bad situation.
Nowadays, you can get portable jump-starters. They’re small enough to slip into your glove compartment and provide enough juice to get your car or truck going if you leave the lights on in the parking lot all day.
Don’t leave home without an emergency kit in the summer, and avoid being sidelined in the heat.
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Photo courtesy of Morguefile.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.