We all hope we will never have any sort of emergency while out driving, but unfortunately, breakdowns and accidents do happen. If you’re a new driver, it’s important that you know you’ll be prepared in case this happens.
Here are 10 things to keep in your car with you, should you find yourself in an emergency situation.
If something happens, you will need to be able to contact a recovery or emergency service. This is especially important when driving long distances, or at night. Using the built in USB port (if you have one) is a good way of keeping your phone battery topped up, however, you won’t be able to rely on this should your car break down. If you’re always running out of battery, consider finding a charge bar or external phone battery that you can plug your phone into in case you ever get stuck.
Road maps might seem a bit old fashioned in era of sat navs and smartphones, however, they can come in use if you need to communicate your location. If you’re involved in a collision and your sat nav breaks, or you break down in an area with minimal phone signal, a map book will help you pinpoint where you are.
If you get into trouble, a warning triangle will let other road users know there is a hazard ahead. Displaying one of these is especially important should you break down, or have a collision just the other side of a bend. Make sure you place the warning triangle at least 45 metres away from your broken down vehicle, to give other road users enough time to react.
If you break down in the middle of the night, you might find yourself without any lights in your car. A torch will help you find your other emergency items, and also guide you to safety should you need to leave your vehicle. Wind up torches are ideal, as there is no battery in them to run out.
Spare tyre / tyre repair kit
Depending on the make and model of your car, you should have been supplied with one or the other when it was new. If you use it, remember to replace it, as you never know when you will need it again.
First aid kit
We all hope that we will never have to use it, but should you be in an accident, or happen to come across one, a first aid kit can help with any minor injuries.
Spare clothes or blankets
If you have to change a tyre or you break down on the hard shoulder, you’re going to have to get out of your vehicle to stay safe. You never know what the weather could be like, so make sure you have some warm clothes or a blanket in case you need them. A lightweight waterproof jacket would also be particularly handy if it’s raining.
Food and drink
No need to go overboard, but if you find yourself having to wait a couple of hours for the breakdown service to arrive, you will be glad of something to eat and drink. A bottle of water and an energy bar are ideal, as they have long shelf lives.
You hopefully won’t need one of these in the summer, but in some parts of the country, the weather can change very quickly in the winter months. Carry a snow shovel with you so that you can dig your way out if necessary.
If your car starts to exhibit signs of an imminent breakdown, the best thing you can do is park it up at the nearest place where it is safe to stop. This may mean having to pay to park, so keep some emergency cash in your car, just in case.
Now you’ve prepared your car for an emergency, don’t forget how you can help prevent them too. Our top tips for getting your car ready for the winter might help you avoid any unexpected winter breakdowns.