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Emergency Kit

Ever come across a car accident?  Ever been in one?  What about a serious one?  I had an experience where a car following behind me shot across the middle of the road, hitting another car head on that was travelling in the opposite direction.  Thankfully, the accident occurred in a 50 km/h zone, and no one was killed.  I stopped, along with one or two others, to see what we could do.  Both cars were write offs, and both drivers suffered severe shock.  The driver that veered across the road had hit his head during the accident and had a head wound.  At the time, there appeared no danger of fire, so we tried to calm both drivers down while waiting for the emergency services to arrive on the scene.  Switching back and forth from groaning in pain and wanting to jump out of the car and split the scene, the driver in the wrong had possibly been driving under the influence of some drug.  The lady in the other car was very shocked but unhurt.

In the last couple of weeks, a friend of ours was driving down a main road, again in a 50 km/h zone, and a young boy ran straight out in front of the car.  Even the driver travelling behind our friend, who witnessed the accident, said there was very little our friend could do.  Sadly the boy died soon after the impact.

Has anyone had an experience where your car just stopped and wouldn’t start?  It’s bad enough having this happen in the middle of the daytime in busy city streets, but it really stinks when this happens on a cold wet night along ways from anywhere!

So what things can we carry in our cars that will help us in an emergency situation?  It is, definitely a good idea to carry some water and food with you if you are heading out of town.  It isn’t too difficult to keep a couple of litres of water in the boot of the car that you can drink or use for topping up a leaking radiator.

Having a blanket or two in the back of the car isn’t a silly idea, either.  Carry some warm clothing with you – like a jacket and hat.

Some of the late model cars come with an emergency kit already provided, inside the boot or cabin.  This might consist of a night reflective sign indicating to oncoming drivers to slow down, a high-viz vest and a heat preserving blanket.

Nowadays having a cellphone with you is a great addition to any travel plans.  If you travel through areas that are somewhat unpopulated, having a cellphone with you is even more essential.  Consider picking up a car cellphone charger, too.  Cell phone signals travel on a line of sight from towers, so if you’re in hilly areas or valleys you’re likely to strike terrible reception.  If bad reception occurs, try getting yourself to higher ground, as this often helps.

Go to any major shopping centre, and you’re sure to find a place selling a first aid kit.  These have things like bandages, ointment, scissors, tape, plasters, and surgical gloves.  You really should have one of these in your car.  Many of the first aid kits can slide under the front seats so that little room is taken up.

Don’t forget to take any medication that you or your passengers may need for a long journey. A torch is a must.  And, have you thought of doing a first aid course or updating your old one?

Here’s to your safe travels.