April 07, 2016 at 12:45 PM

This month's heartbreaking tragedy in County Donegal, Ireland, is a painful reminder that dangerous things can happen when we're out in our cars. A family was drowned when their car went off a pier and they could not get out.

Why should you have an emergency toolkit?

Few of us like to think about bad things happening to us. However, it's wise to be prepared for trouble when going out on the road. Cars break down and accidents occur all too frequently. It is, therefore, a good idea to assemble a basic tool and supply kit in case of emergency. So what are the essential items every motorist should always keep in their car?


1) Tools

You need to carry a toolbox stocked with different types and sizes of screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, and gauges is a must.


2) Spare tyre

In the case of a puncture, you'll need either a spare or a tyre sealant to patch things up, enabling you to get to the nearest garage.


3) Jumper cables

It's happened to all of us; the battery has gone flat and we've had to rely on the kindness of strangers to get the car started. A good set of jumper cables will enable you to get back on the road again, and put you in the position of being a good Samaritan yourself, should the need arise.


4) Torch

This is handy when things go wrong at night, or if your car's interior lights aren't bright enough for you to locate something.


5) Window breaker and seatbelt cutter escape device

This could save your life if for some reason you're unable to open your doors or windows. Several brands are available. It should not be kept in your boot because should you ever require it, you'll need to be able to reach it easily and quickly.


6) Duct tape

Useful to patch your car together after minor accidents so that you can make it back home or to the garage.


7) Car manual

If you need to refer to technical information specific to your car while out on the road, you'll need this close by.


8) Water

Last summer, on the hottest day of the year, a section of the M25 was closed for several hours following a serious accident. Hundreds of motorists were stuck from about two in the afternoon till well into the night. With no shops in the vicinity and in the blazing weather, there were certainly people who wished that they'd had water with them. In addition to drinking it, of course, you can also use water to wash things.


9) Snacks

In the same vein, it can be a good idea to keep a stash of energy bars, chocolate, nuts, or some other food items in case you're stranded for a stretch of time.


10) Reflective triangles

In some European countries, all cars need to carry these.


Add more based on your needs

This list is by no means exhaustive, but should cover some of the more common situations. Hopefully, of course, you'll never have the need of your emergency kit, but one can never be too prepared.



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