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What Essentials Should I Carry in my Vehicle?

As we prepare to enter winter, it’s easy to think that maintenance related breakdowns are less common – the reality however, is that while this isn’t necessarily the case, winter certainly does heighten the degree of hazards on our roads by way of the wet and slippery conditions. Although we never hope, nor expect, to be in a position where we require roadside assistance, it’s always beneficial to ensure that you’re equipped for the worst case scenario – be it a mechanical breakdown, punctured tyre, or an accident. Detailed below we list the most important essentials that you should carry in your vehicle at all times.

car

Safety

Mobile: Not that the majority of people would ever be caught in public without their mobile phone, but this is your beacon in the event of an emergency. With most cars now supporting charging devices, it’s also wise to store a charger in the central armrest compartment or within the glove box.

First aid kit: In the event of an accident, immediate first aid can make all the difference. Ensure that your first aid kit is not out of date and that it has all the necessary items. It’s also wise to undertake first aid training, which is readily available from multiple providers.

Fire extinguisher: Although it’s uncommon, it’s not implausible for engines to catch fire from overheating. Emergency services should be the first point of call but if one can control the situation, then it’s always wise to store a portable fire extinguisher in the boot or under the passenger seat.

Safety triangle: Whether day or night, if you decide to exit your vehicle and change a tyre on the shoulder of a road, safety triangles should be placed behind the vehicle to serve as a caution to other motorists

Functionality

Flashlight: You might think your phone can serve the same purpose but you never really know when your phone will run out of battery. You’re most likely to need your flashlight in the event of a flat tyre encountered while driving at night. The alternative? Call and wait for roadside assistance to change your tyre. But do you really want to be waiting an hour on the side of the road?

Tyre kit: Flat tyres and punctures are always an inconvenience. However, changing a tyre is actually one of the easier DIY jobs you can perform on your vehicle providing you have a spare tyre in good condition, a wheel brace, and a car jack. Other useful pieces of equipment include tyre sealant to temporarily patch punctures and an inflation pump.

Street directory: Most cars and phones have GPS access but the traditional street directory still serves a purpose as a backup in the event of a breakdown.

Spare tools and gear: You don’t need to carry your entire tool collection with you but it always helps to keep the following nearby: basic took kit; motor oil; coolant; water (for you and the car); spare petrol tank and pump; duct tape (for side mirrors and the like); WD-40; and jumper cables.

Documentation: After an accident it’s easy to panic and lose focus. Keep pens and paper on hand to write the contact details and registration info of the other motorist, while you should also ensure you have access to your own roadside assistance and towing details. The owner’s manual is another valuable source of information for minor repairs.

 

Comfort

You never quite know where you might be stranded, however, if you have the room there is little harm in having some of these luxuries at hand: a blanket; a raincoat or umbrella; sunglasses; and spare change.

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