11 things you should keep in your car for roadside preparedness

11 Things You Should Keep In Your Car

Top 11 things you should go put in your car for RIGHT NOW!

It doesn’t matter if you are traveling from Lake City to California, or from your house to the Publix down the road, roadside emergencies happen all the time. Over the years we have seen times, when a little emergency preparation would have saved motorist time, a little comfort, a lot of money, or even, could have saved someone’s life! We highly recommend putting the following items in your vehicle today.

  1. Vehicles Owner Manual
    • The owner’s manual of your car has a lot of neat things that are of use to the towing company or repair shop working on your vehicle. The owner’s manual will have information on the correct pressure to keep your tires at, how to put your vehicle into neutral with a dead battery, information about jump-starting your vehicle, and instructions for a tow truck driver on where to hook a car up to be towed. The owner’s manual is generally located in your glove box, however, if you bought the car used without one, oftentimes you can find a replacement on eBay for cheap!
  2. Blankets
    • Living in Florida, it is easy to forget that it occasionally gets cold here sometimes until the night your car dies on the interstate in 20-degree weather. Keeping a blanket or a survival blanket in the car also could come in handy if you ever needed to change a tire in the rain and needed to warm up and dry off.
  3. Change of Clothes
    • Much like keeping a blanket in the car, if you ever had to change a tire in the rain, it would be nice to have a nice set of dry clothes to change into while on a trip.
  4. Bottled Water
    • The state of Florida seems to be hot year-round which means that at any given time a passenger of your vehicle or a stranger in another could be susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke in an emergency. Carrying a bottle of water could help save someone’s life! (We did some research after writing this article, and it seems that keeping plastic bottles in your car sitting in the Florida sun for extended periods of time can cause a chemical reaction with the plastic, so we found an alternative that is free of the chemicals in plastic, and won’t freeze and explode in extreme cold temperatures)
  5. Jumper Cables
    • If you own an older vehicle it is a good idea to keep a set of jumper cables in your car in the chance of running into a dead battery due to heat. While we will gladly give your car a jump start, oftentimes people will be glad to give you a hand and get you on your way down the road. If you own a newer car, sometimes the manufacturer will suggest not to jump-start the vehicle. AAA Auto Club makes some nice heavy-duty jumper cables you can keep in your vehicle.
  6. Tire Air Gauge
    • Keeping an eye on your air pressure can help prevent damage from a punctured tire which could lead to severe tire damage or a blowout. If your tires do appear low, call your local friendly tow company; we have trucks that can air the tire back up, or change it out with your spare. This nice digital tire gauge is only 13 dollars, and will provide you with extremely accurate readings on your tires.
  7. Flashlight
    • Keeping a flashlight handy in your car can come in handy for a lot of problems such as dropping your keys getting out of the car, checking your tire pressure, or jump-starting your car in the dark. Here is a cheap LED Emergency Flashlight to help you out in a bind.
  8. Emergency Money
    • Keeping some emergency money in your car could be very beneficial to you if you need to have your vehicle towed. Most auto clubs have a limit on the mileage you can use at a time, so if you are out of town, an extra 20 bucks could make the difference of getting home or having to visit an auto repair shop in another town.
  9. Road Flares Or Triangles
    • If your vehicle breaks down on a dangerous part of the interstate (top of a hill, or in a low spot with heavy fog), it would be advised to light a road flare and or place reflective triangles to let traffic know where you are. This will also make it easier for a tow truck to find your vehicle in the case that your battery dies and you can’t leave your lights and flashers on. Here is a reflective triangle set from AAA Autoclub that you can use.
  10. Fire Extinguisher
    • Towing for 35 years, we have seen countless vehicle fires that may have been preventable if someone had used a small fire extinguisher to put out the flames before the fire consumed the car. There are small canister options available if size is a concern that will fit nicely in your tool kit or next to your spare.
  11. First Aid Kit
    • Accidents happen, and keeping a first aid kit in your car handy could help save your life or someone else’s.

42 thoughts on “11 Things You Should Keep In Your Car”

  1. I remember when I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with my dad and mom, we were on our way to a funeral at night and our car just stopped…we had to sit in the car..it was so cold we had no blanket and we couldn’t sleep because there was not enough space in the car so we just basically stayed in the car for hours with no plan…so it’s important to always have a tow truck company number with you at all times just in case you run into problems like these…that list is so useful trust me thank you for sharing this with us.

  2. I like how this article talks about keeping emergency essentials in the car. It’s not often that I remember to take things such as flashlights or blankets in the car when I’m just driving to work. I think having a designated set of blankets, and other emergency things could be a great way that i won’t be uncomfortable if I am ever stranded waiting for a tow. I’ll definitely have to keep these things in mind to prepare my own emergency kits. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I really like how you advised that, “If you own an older vehicle it is a good idea to keep a set of jumper cables in your car in the chance of running into a dead battery due to heat.” I think this is a great idea because its the leading cause of car break downs. The other day my car would not start because I left the lights on. How long will a new car battery normally last me?

  4. I agree, “Keeping some emergency money in your car could be very beneficial to you if you need to have your vehicle towed.” I have never thought of leaving some extra cash in the car before for emergencies. I’m going to start doing that! You just never know what will happen so it’s nice to be prepared. Thanks for the idea.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve been towed before, and while it’s not fun, the things you mentioned really do help – owner’s manual is a must, and the reflective triangle really is a huge help if your lights die. I’ve never thought of a change of clothes though – I’ll have to start bringing those with me. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Having these 11 items in you car are going to make sure that you are prepared for really anything. I like that it said to have triangles or road flares as well as money and blankets. You never know where you are going to be when you need to call a tow truck. It could be really cold out or really dark and so these little things are key in those situations.

  7. I realized the other day that my car really isn’t equipped very well with emergency preparedness. I really liked this article, and I definitely need to equip my car with this checklist. I personally have seen how having a flashlight is beneficial because one time my car got stuck in the snow in the night, and the flashlight helped me to dig my way out. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. Reading this made me realize that I don’t actually carry jumper cables with me. I don’t know how I haven’t thought about that. I think this list is really helpful and has made me think about things that I really should have. Thanks!

  9. I never thought about keeping a change of clothes in my car before. This is really great advice in case of an emergency. It wouldn’t take up too much space to stash an old pair of sweats in the trunk. I will definitely add this to my car’s emergency kit. Thanks for the tip!

  10. My mother taught me to always have certain things in my car, including extra water, jumper cables, a tool kit, extra money, and a first aid kit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to use them, and I’m so glad I’m always prepared! However, thanks to this article, I may just have to add road flares to the list so I can warn other cars if I’ve broken down, as well as allowing tow trucks or other emergency vehicles to find me more easily. Thanks for the suggestion!

  11. These are great tips to be ready in case of an emergency. I totally agree with the blanket and the change of clothes. Those can definitely come in handy if something goes wrong with your car and it’s raining. Having to get your car towed is never fun, but it seems like it can be a lot better if you are prepared. Thanks for these ideas!

  12. I’m planning a big cross-country road trip, so I really appreciated some of the things you mentioned like tire gauge and flashlights. I don’t have those in my car for normal about town trips, so I’m glad you mentioned those because I might have forgotten them. Also, I like your suggestion to have the owners manual around because that can be helpful to tow companies and auto shops if your car breaks down. Speaking of that sort of thing, do you have any advice for finding a good towing company and auto shops when you’re on vacation?

  13. These are awesome tips. I think a lot of people never think something bad can happen to them and don’t prepare for the worst. I never thought about keeping emergency money in the car but now that I’ve read what you posted it makes sense. Sometimes I forget my wallet and If something were to happen to me I’d be in a mess. Thanks for the post.

  14. Last month, I got stuck on a mountain pass road and had to call a tow truck. It was really foggy and dark and so it took a while for the truck driver to find me, especially since I couldn’t get my lights to flash. The driver actually passed me, but eventually found me. I definitely don’t want to go through that again and I so I really appreciate your advice about having road flares and triangles to help make myself visible.

  15. Having emergency money in your car is a great idea. Sometimes I’m pretty prone to forget my wallet and having some cash handy when my credit cards aren’t there would help a ton. I’ll have to set aside a small budget and hide a few twenties in my glovebox. Thanks for the awesome tips!

  16. I agree that you should keep these things in your car. I especially agree with having a jumper cable. That way you do not have to be towed if you are stuck on the side of the road.

  17. I feel so unprepared now that I have read this article. Having things like blankets and clothes and water didn’t even cross my mind to keep in my car. I usually just keep a blanket and a flashlight, plus whatever other junk just ends up in the back seat. The steps given here will be extremely helpful as I go about improving my preparedness in the car.

  18. I always make sure to keep some water and snacks in my car. Being hungry makes any emergency situation worse! Blankets are also a smart idea. I’ll make sure to put one in my car.

  19. I like the idea of having emergency money in case you need to use a towing service. Would it be a good idea to bring some tow ropes as well? A friend of ours broke down while travelling through the Nevada desert and she wasn’t able to reach a tow truck service. I think that would be a good thing to keep just in case you don’t have the means of getting in contact with a service.

  20. I would have never thought to pack some road flares or triangles for an emergency car breakdown. That’s really smart, especially if you tend to go offroading. My husband tends to do that with his friends over the weekends, so I’ll be sure to look into getting some. Also, it might be good to know of a good towing company that could actually grab a car that isn’t on a paved road!

  21. My dad tried to teach me how to take care of my car before I started living on my own, away from family. I’m grateful that he gave me jumper cables before I left. Last week, I was able to help jump start a stranger’s car so they could get it to the side of the road and call an auto towing service. Great post!

  22. My dad made sure that his kids had a preparedness kit in their vehicles in case of an emergency so I can definitely see the value in having these important items in a vehicle. I have most of these items except for bottled water and emergency flares, so I’ll have to add that to my pack. This would be very helpful in a situation where my truck is broken down and I’m waiting for my towing service to arrive.

  23. Thorough list. I have most of those items in my car but also keep a small note pad and pen in the glove box which has proven to be very handy more than a few times.

  24. I like your tip about having a spare blanket in the car in the case of being stuck in cold weather. Recently, I purchased a car and I have slowly been getting it stocked with the little necessities that could make the biggest difference in a dire situation. Honestly, I was pretty naive about some of the car storage tips before but I am learning and doing. The more we know the better off we will be. I would add that keeping a car charger and extra batteries for the flashlight could be helpful, as well.

  25. This is some really good information about car safety. I like that you pointed out that you should have a blanket and water in your car. That does seem like a good thing to have in case you get stuck somewhere. It might also be a good idea to have your towing companies card in your car.

  26. Make sure you have a couple phone numbers of towing companies saved on our phones. This can save you time looking for a towing company immediately.

  27. Washer Fluid It s Murphy s Law that we only seem to run out of windshield washer fluid when we really need it. Carrying extra fluid is a smart idea and very inexpensive to do. Keeping your washer fluid reservoir full is a must.

  28. Being an experienced towing professional, i strongly agree with the recommendations made in this article. These can save you a lot of time and hassle in case your vehicle breaks down on a highway.

  29. I think it’s a good idea to keep money in your car just in case you need to have your car towed. My new job is 40 minutes away from my house, and I want to be prepared if my Subaru breaks down on the way there. If I find towing services in my area and look at their prices, then I’ll know how much money to keep in my Subaru.

  30. I think the need to publish the article was felt because however, necessary it may appear, we tend not to give it as much attention it deserves. A primary reason for this is because we all feel nothing can go wrong.
    All the items mentioned above are a must carry. Along with it keep a tiny reservoir of cash. It comes in very handy.

  31. I really like the idea you have to keep a flashlight handy for instances when you have to check your tire pressure in the dark. My family is planning a road trip for when school gets out, and we want to be covered just in case an incident were to happen that would leave us stranded on the road. We will be sure to get a flashlight and find a towing service company that we can contact in the case that we do run into any problems while driving.

  32. My sister’s car stopped in the middle of a less traveled road and it’s cold. It was explained here that she should have extra things like a blanket in her car in case of emergency. Moreover, it’s recommended to have a professional towing service for auto towing.

  33. Thanks for going over some things that could be good to have in a car. I didn’t know that road flares or a reflective triangle could help a tow truck find you. You mentioned this could be good if you break down on a dangerous spot, but it also sounds like it could be helpful on darker roads.

  34. I liked that you said that one thing that you should always keep in your car is road flares. I would imagine that this would be useful in case of an emergency to help identify yourself to the towing company that you called. I would be sure to call a towing company if I were in distress so that I could receive help.

  35. I never thought about having a road flare or triangle in my vehicle in case it breaks down. My husband recently got into a fender bender and didn’t have roadside assistance to help him. We will keep these tips in mind when searching for a professional.

  36. I like your recommendation to keep jumper cables in your car in case your battery dies. My wife and I just bought a new car that has four-wheel drive. If we ever had problems with the car that makes it difficult to start, we may consider reaching out to a towing company to take care of it.

  37. You made a great point when you explained that it is important to have a flashlight in your car so that you can jump-start your car in the dark if you ever break down at nighttime. With that in mind, it would be important to have a light source that you don’t have to worry about not working, or having a dead battery. I think having one that you can shake to create electricity would be very helpful in emergencies.

  38. I like that you said that I should always have a vehicle’s owner manual in my car for emergency purposes. This manual would help a vehicle towing service know the correct pressure of my tires, how to put my car into a neutral state, how to jumpstart my vehicle, and where to hook for towing. My parents just gave me a new car on my 17th birthday, and since it’s my first time owning a car, I really appreciate your tips and advice! I’ll definitely keep my vehicle’s owner manual in my car always. Thanks a lot!

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