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.

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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 sure they 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’ 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.

Seasonal Considerations


  • Ice scraper: Essential for removing ice from the windshield. B
  • Blanket: Can be used for warmth or as a protective layer when changing a tire on cold ground.
  • Kitty litter: Provides traction for vehicles stuck in snow.
  • Snow brush or shovel: Useful for clearing snow from around your vehicle.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries: Daylight is shorter in winter, making this essential for visibility.


  • Umbrella or raincoat: Spring showers are common, so these can keep you dry.
  • Change of clothes: Useful for sudden weather changes typical of spring.
  • Kitty litter: Can still be useful for traction in muddy conditions.
  • Windshield washer fluid: Helps keep the windshield clear from spring pollen and road spray.


  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes
  • Sunscreen: Prevent sunburn during long drives or if stranded.
  • Water bottles: It’s important to stay hydrated.
  • Cooling towels: Offer relief from high temperatures.
  • Umbrella: Can also serve as sunshade in addition to rain protection.


  • Change of clothes: Helpful if you get wet from rain or need an extra layer.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries: Days start to get shorter; good for visibility in the evening.
  • Umbrella: For fall showers.
  • Windshield washer fluid: Prepares you for early frosts and ensures clear vision.

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Regularly Review and Update

At Tronfeld West & Durrett, we suggest that all drivers not only equip their vehicles with essential items but also to regularly review and update these items to ensure they are in working order and relevant to the current season and personal circumstances.

Check the expiration date on items such as medical supplies or food rations, and replace the outdated items. Also, consider what changes you should do depending on the season (such as adding antifreeze in winter or extra water in summer). Check your emergency kit regularly.

By maintaining an up-to-date emergency kit, you can provide yourself and your loved ones with peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for various roadside emergencies.

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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 car accident lawyer from 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.

Call or text 800-321-6741 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form