This kit is intended to aid you in getting help, signaling your car’s presence to other motorists, and tackling simple challenges.
Even if you have roadside assistance coverage or an automobile club membership with roadside assistance, you usually need access to a phone in order to contact them, and you may have to wait on the side of the road for an hour or more before help arrives.
That’s why we recommend that drivers carry certain items in their vehicle, even if it only gets used for everyday, around-town driving. This basic kit can be supplemented with additional items if you go on a long-distance trip or have to deal with winter weather conditions.
- Cellular phone and travel charger – keep an old, fully-charged cell phone in your glovebox for back-up; inactive cell phones can still be used to call 911.
- First aid kit – be sure you know how to use it.
- Warning light, hazard triangle, or flares.
- Tire gauge – use this on a monthly basis to check the inflation pressure in all four tires and the spare tire, if you have one.
- Jack and lug wrenches – most vehicles come with these items for changing a tire. Refer to your owner’s manual on where they’re located in the vehicle and how to use them.
- Foam tire sealant or a portable compressor and plug kit.
- Spare fuses – these are easy to check and replace by referring to your owner’s manual.
- Jumper cables or a portable battery booster.
- Flashlight – critical at night, make sure to choose one that is weatherproof.
- Kids' kit – age-appropriate supplies to keep your little ones safe, comfortable and occupied, e.g. diapers, formula, snack foods, toys/activities, etc.
- Small shovel
- Duct tape
- Extra set of clothes and season-specific items such as hats, gloves, jackets, etc. to handle weather conditions
- Bottled water – have at least 1 bottle for each person traveling in the vehicle