Keeping essential items in your trunk can help you during automotive emergencies
Friday, September 6th, 2013
Issue 36, Volume 17.
In certain times of the year, a breakdown may be an inconvenience that takes up a few hours of a personís time. In extreme weather situations, a broken down car could be dangerous. Preparing for emergency situations can help drivers get moving faster.
There are certain items that should be kept in the trunk or cargo area regardless of the season, and some of these items should be modified as the seasons change.
First aid kit: If someone is hurt in an accident, medical supplies in the trunk allow drivers and/or passengers to treat injured persons until paramedics can arrive. Go over what is in the kit and learn how to use each item correctly.
Flares: If your car breaks down at night or in situations where visibility is poor, flares can keep other drivers away from your vehicle when it is parked on the side of the road. Flares also will illuminate the area so that you can work on fixing a problem or alert emergency personnel as to where you are located.
Jumper cables: Jumper cables enable you to recharge a dead battery, a common problem in cold weather. Automotive retailers also sell portable car battery chargers that can provide the boost needed to the battery in the event you cannot find another car around to offer assistance.
Spare tire and tools: Tire blowouts or holes in tires are unpredictable. Having the necessary items at the ready can get you back on the road faster. Learn how to
change a tire. In a pinch, tire sealantcan be used to get you to the next service station and away from the side of the road.
Flashlight and batteries: A flashlight makes it possible for drivers to see under their vehicles and under the hood more effectively. It also can be used to grab the attention of fellow motorists who might be able to help. Keep extra batteries for the flashlight on hand as well.
Blankets: A blanket can keep passengers warm if a car breaks down in chilly weather. Blankets also can be placed on the ground so that you can lay on the road and be cushioned from debris when looking under the car.
Extra clothing: An extra set of clothing can be handy should your clothing become soggy or soiled.
Nonperishable foods: A few snacks and bottles of water stashed in the car can help quell
hunger while waiting for a tow truck.
Sand and kitty litter: Sand can weigh down the back of a
rear-wheel drive vehicle to provide better traction on slippery roads. Sand and kitty litter also can be sprinkled underneath tires to help them grip the road better when you are trying to get the car out of an icy or muddy patch.
Charged mobile phone: Keep your cell phone charged so that you can make emergency phone calls or contact a tow company in the event of a breakdown.
Shovel: A shovel makes it easier to dig a vehicle out of mud or snow.
Certain things should not be stored in a vehicle. For example, hot weather can cause lighters and cans to burst inside of a car, so such items should not be kept in your car. In addition, freezing temperatures may reduce the effectiveness of certain products and cause liquids to freeze and burst.
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