Anything can happen on the road. To ensure they are not blindsided by any event, Virginia drivers should make sure they stock their cars with the following necessities.
Items for Car Maintenance and Breakdowns
Unfortunately, cars break down. While no one can ever fully prepare for it, drivers can ensure they have a few things that keep a break down from becoming disastrous:
• Spare Tire, Jack, and Tire Iron: Drivers should also keep a manual in their car that guides them through the safe and proper way to change a tire. Drivers should always replace the spare tire after using it.
• Tire Repair Kit: This will stop a tire from leaking and enable a driver to get to safety. Drivers should limit the miles they drive on a repaired tire.
• Jumper Cables: These make a dead battery a minor inconvenience rather than a catastrophe.
• Booster Pack: Drivers can use a booster pack and jumper cables to jumpstart their cars if no other drivers are around.
Safety and Daily Necessities
If drivers are stranded after an accident or breakdown, the following items help ensure they stay safe, hydrated, and connected with family and emergency personnel.
• First Aid Kit: While some cars come with a first-aid kit, drivers should make surethey keep theirs stocked and appropriate for their family’s specific needs. Drivers, at the very least, should include band-aids, a magnifying glass, antiseptic wipes, sterile gauze, ointment, and gloves.
• Flashlight: Changing a tire or checking under the hood at night without a flashlight can be impossible. It also helps other drivers and emergency personnel see you.
• Healthy, Non-Perishable Snack Foods: Some drivers are stranded for hours or even overnight after a breakdown or accident. Non-perishable snacks like granola bars, nuts, and jerky can keep drivers and passengers full and energized.
• Water Bottles: Water is a necessity, even for drivers who are only stranded for an hour or two waiting for a tow truck.
• Medications: Most people do not consider packing a day’s worth of necessary medications when they head to work; however, a break down or accident can become deadly if a passenger requires medication.
• Cell Phone and Portable Charger: Drivers should keep their cell phones and portable charging block in their car at all times. Drivers can get a portable charging block at any drug store.
• Seat Belt Cutter and Window Breaker: While rare, it is possible to get trapped in a car after an accident.
• Reflective Triangles: Drivers who break down or are involved in an accident should pull over and place these reflective triangles behind their car. Drivers might also consider packing a high-visibility vest to promote visibility.
• Paper Maps: When a phone loses power, or goes out of service range, a driver can be stranded. Drivers should place a book of maps and a compass in their glove box.
• Money Stash: Drivers never know when they will need cash. Keep a stash handy in a safe place. Men’sHealth.com recommends keeping it hidden in an old sock in your trunk.
• A List of Important Phone Numbers: Phones die. Drivers could be out of luck if they cannot remember important numbers they need to call. Drivers should also keep a pen with that paper list.
Inclement weather can happen at any time. Drivers should always keep the following in their car:
• Ice scraper: Drivers trying to head to work in the morning after a chilly night can find themselves stranded if their cars do not have an ice scraper.
• Mylar space blanket: A Mylar space blanket can keep drivers and passengers warm until help arrives. Drivers might also consider packing a sweater, hat, pair of gloves, and a pair of socks for each passenger.
• Blanket: Packing a blanket can protect drivers’ knees from wet or hot pavement when changing a tire.
• Umbrella: Drivers should always keep an umbrella or raincoat in the car.
• Kitty litter: Kitty litter helps give traction to a car stuck in the snow. It can also help clean up messes if someone gets carsick.
• Change of clothes: This can help drivers keep warm if stuck overnight or simply keep them from wearing soaking wet clothes if they needed to change a tire in the rain.
Stay Safe with Tronfeld West & Durrett
Our attorneys never want to see a Virginia resident or visitor suffer injury in an accident. However, we are always there when something unfortunate happens. Drivers can always count on Tronfeld West & Durrett for help after an accident. We know how to navigate the accident claims system and recover the compensation our clients deserve. Drivers can call 804-358-6741 for claim help.