As the scouts tell us, it helps to be prepared and a little planning can go a long way. When it comes to being on the road, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency pack in with you. Yes, make-up and tights is a great idea, but we’re thinking of more practical items you’ll find useful if you break down, have an accident or get stuck in the snow.
Let’s face it nobody looks good in a High-vis vest. But wearing one makes you visible to motorists and it sure beats being run over. You should wear it when you’re putting out the warning triangle you keep in your boot for the same reason.
Spare bulbs are useful if you know how to change one. To be honest, the fact that you can’t change it might not be your fault. Some cars make the process extremely difficult.
Sometimes you have to remove half the engine before you can get to the light. If you have a car that lets you change a bulb without an engineering degree then they are worth keeping in the car. If not, leave it to your local garage or Halfords.
If you have a flat tyre
A spare wheel, a jack and a wheel brace. This is what you need to change a tyre. If you want to know how to do it, read our recent blog which tells you how to change a tyre in 7 easy steps.
In case of an accident
You can make use of a first aid kit if you have a minor accident, either in or out of the car. A kit will usually contain dressings, bandages and plasters. They may also have eyewash, cleansing wipes, gloves and scissors. If you want something specifically for your car, look for car first aid kits at Halfords or online. They’ll include everything you could need in an emergency.
Pack a phone charger
A phone charger that plugs into your cigarette lighter will charge faster than your car’s USB port. That’s because it has more power.
What you’ll need if you break down
An emergency torch
Yes, we know phones have torches, but do you want to risk dropping it? Or, maybe you don’t have your phone. It could be languishing on the kitchen table along with your house keys. Pack a torch with a wrist strap so it doesn’t fall out of your hand and remember spare batteries.
The golden rule when you break down on the road is to get out of the car and find a safe place to stand. How pleased you’ll be with yourself if you’ve got an umbrella and it’s pouring rain. You’ll still feel miserable, but at least you’ll have a dry head and shoulders.
Useful if you’re lost
We like to cover all eventualities. So you’re driving to a place you’ve never been before, pack an old fashioned map. If your sat nav packs in and your phone is dead, you’ll be glad of the backup.
I bet if you saw a spade in your neighbour’s car you might think she was off to bury her husband. It’s more likely she’s taking a journey and snow’s been forecast. If you find yourself stuck in a snowdrift a spade is useful for digging your car out.
If heavy snow means you’ve got to park up and stay in your car, you’ll need to keep warm. A spare coat or a blanket should help. Be careful not to drain the battery with your car heater.
Food and drink
If you must drive in bad weather grab a bottle of water and a snack before you leave the house. Then if you break down or get stuck on the road you won’t dehydrate, and your blood sugar will be stable.
Being prepared for an emergency on the road will keep you safe and mean you’re able to assist other drivers if they need it. Make extra preparations for winter as this is one of the easiest times of year to find yourself in a pickle.