20 July 2022
Must-have items for your car emergency kit
It’s wiser to be cautious and careful than to be unprepared.
Whether you’re embarking on a road trip with friends to the snowy mountains or visiting family in another state, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for unexpected situations that might occur – like a flat tyre or an accidental wrong turn.
So, before you buckle in and begin your adventure, be prepared for anything while you’re out on the road by packing these essential items in your car emergency kit.
1. First aid kit
Having a first aid kit on hand can be a life saver. Items such as band aids, bandages, burn gel, gauze dressings, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, sterile gloves and all the other things a first aid kit includes can come in handy if there’s an unforeseen injury.
2. Spare tyre
Most cars come with a spare tyre compartment in the boot for an important reason – if you get a flat tyre, you can swap it out with the spare, on the spot. Just remember to check its pressure every now and then to ensure it’s still useable in the case of an emergency.
3. Jumper leads
Car batteries don’t last forever. If you accidently leave your vehicle lights on it can drain your car’s battery and leave it for dead. That’s just one reason why it’s always handy to have a pair of jumper lead cables stashed in the boot. Of course, you can always call on NRMA Roadside Assistance to help, but in case your battery does wear out and emergency roadside assistance isn’t an option, at least you can feel at ease knowing there’s a solution to the problem at hand.
4. Triangle reflectors
In case you find yourself in a break down or an unexpected situation and you need to pull over, it is imperative for other road users to be able to see you clearly – especially at night or when weather conditions such as thick smog or smoke limits visibility. To avoid further problems or another accident from happening we recommend keeping reflective triangles in your car so that you can alert motorists of your existence on the side of the road, as well as help emergency crews or roadside assistance locate you.
5. An offline map
We live in a digital era where paper maps are a thing of the past. So, what happens if you don’t have a paper map then your reception cuts out and you can’t finish navigating to your destination? This is where Google Maps offline helps. You can save an area from Google Maps to your phone or tablet and use it when you're offline – it’s that simple.
To download Google Maps offline open the app on your device, make sure you’re connected to the internet and aren’t in Incognito mode, search for the place you need to navigate to, at the bottom of the screen tap the name or address of the place, then tap ‘More…’, then select ‘Download offline map’ and then select ‘Download’.
The last thing you want is to get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with a dead phone unable to call for help. Always have a spare phone charger in your car, and as a back-up, consider stocking a fully charged portable charger in your car.
7. Glass cleaner
Ever had a dirty windscreen and even the combination of your car’s windscreen wipers and windshield wiper fluid won’t do the trick of cleaning it? A dirty windscreen can impair your vision of the road and may even become dangerous in foggy conditions. Having glass cleaner and paper towels or an old rag can help clear up a dirty windscreen in a jiffy.
8. Water and non-perishable food
Consider keeping some spare bottles of water and non-perishable food in your car, especially when you’re embarking on a long drive or venturing into remote areas. This way if you break down, you’ll be able to stay hydrated and sustained while waiting for help to arrive.
9. Spare cash
Although we live in a world of contactless payments and cards, it’s a good idea to keep some spare cash tucked away in your car somewhere out of sight. This can come to the rescue in emergencies like losing or misplacing your wallet. Need petrol but don’t know where your cards are? No problem. You’ve got a secret cash stash!
Whether it’s hot or cold out, blankets can serve you in both ways. In winter weather it provides warmth and in summer it can be propped up to provide shade from the sun. This way if your car breaks down and you’re waiting for help to arrive, you’ve got a layer of blanket protection.
When it comes to forward thinking and protecting the things we care about, we can do our best to safeguard them, but sometimes the unexpected happens.
To help minimise repair costs in the case of an accident, check that your car insurance is up to date. If you have NRMA Car Insurance and you’re involved in a car accident, get help and make an instant claim on the spot with the NRMA Insurance app.