Be Prepared for Roadside Breakdowns and Other Emergencies

Vigilant driving, not using electronic devices, and planning for extra drive time so you don’t feel rushed are some of the most important ways to stay safe on the road. With so many distracted and impatient drivers, driving is likely the most dangerous part of the average person’s day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.3 million people become seriously injured and more than 30,000 people die in traffic collisions every year. Distracted driving is quite possibly the most likely behavior that causes collisions, with the Washington Post reporting 1.7 million rear end collisions per year. But safe driving does not stop with paying close attention and driving the speed limit. You can further reduce the dangers, and the stress, of other emergency type situations by packing essential equipment in your vehicle and having the knowledge of how to use them. A pair of chains may keep you from sliding out on a dangerously snow road and if you are in an accident, having a well-stocked first aid kit and the know how to use it could save a life. In other circumstances, having a spare tire kit could save you a costly tow, or a set of jumper cables could make you the hero of someone else’s day.


Jumper Cables for a Dead Battery


If you’ve ever left the cabin or headlights on, or had a faulty alternator, you know what it feels like to try the ignition without the slightest turnover from the engine. The problem can be fixed very quickly and easily if you have a set of jumper cables and can flag down the help of another driver.


Spare Tire and Equipment


A spare tire, jack, and tire iron are a must. You should also have some experience using them in order to ensure the minimum amount of stress on the side of the highway. Carry a tire pressure gauge, sealant, and a pump to fix minor leaks that can make it to the auto body shop.


First Aid, Emergency Food, and Safety Equipment


The following items should be tucked away somewhere in the rear of your vehicle so they don’t get take out or eaten in non-emergency situations, or, such as the window and seat belt breaker, very readily accessible in case they need to be used in an accident.


  • First aid kit;
  • Headlamp, lantern, or flashlight;
  • Small tool box, multi-tool and knife;
  • Matches or lighter;
  • Non perishable food as well as dog food, which you can be sure will only be eaten unless it is a true emergency;
  • Two gallons of water;
  • Seat belt cutter;
  • Window breaker;
  • Flares; and
  • Reflective triangle.


Winter Gear


  • Chains;
  • Tarp or carpeting;
  • Ice scraper;
  • Emergency blankets (wool or nylon plus a small space blanket); and
  • Jacket, hat, and gloves;


No matter how prepared you are, accidents happen. If you have been injured in an auto collision that was no fault of your own, contact an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina car accident attorney today for legal advice.