Unfortunately, your car can break down at any given minute. You might not be able to predict when it's going to happen, but you can prepare for the worst with emergency roadside equipment. Here are 15 items we recommend keeping in your vehicle at all times:
1. A charged cellphone
This item will most likely already be on you, but it's crucial to make sure it's always fully charged. Bankrate said it's the difference between getting help fast or waiting around for a car to drive by.
2. Reflective warning triangles
Having reflective warning triangles in your car is essential in the event of a breakdown. They will notify oncoming cars that your vehicle is parked, which can reduce the chance of an accident occurring. Edmunds also suggested you consider LED flares.
3. First-aid kit
You can't predict medical emergencies. Keep a first-aid kit with bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, aspirin, antiseptic wipes and ointments in your car at all times in case someone gets hurt.
4. Fire extinguisher
Keeping a fire extinguisher in your car can tame a spark caused by an electrical problem.
5. Jumper cables
Accidently leaving your lights on is common. So is a battery dying on its own. Leave jumper cables in your car so a nearby vehicle can get your ride running again.
Breaking down in the middle of nowhere at night isn't fun. Keep a flashlight in your glove compartment, along with extra batteries in case they die.
7. A multipurpose knife
A standard multipurpose knife will come with a bottle opener, a flathead screw driver, a wire cutter, rescue blade and glass breaker, which can all be helpful if any issue arises.
8. A poncho
Your car breaks down, you're checking under the hood for an issue, and it suddenly starts pouring. What do you do? Reach in your emergency kit for your rain poncho.
"Keep protein bars in your car."
9. Nonperishable snacks
It might be hours before a tow truck gets to you. Prepare your stomach for the wait with high-protein nonperishable snacks like mixed nuts and protein bars.
Along with snacks, keeping bottled water in your car in case of an emergency is crucial.
11. Cat litter
Cat littler? You read that correctly. You can use it as a replacement for sand – it weighs less – to create traction beneath the tires if you get stuck.
12. An emergency radio
The Department of Homeland Security suggested leaving a battery-powered or hand crank radio in the car to listen for weather warnings if you vehicle's radio or cell phone stops working.
13. Walking shoes
If your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, you have no cellphone reception and you haven't seen a passing car in hours, you'll have to start walking to find help. Keep comfortable walking shoes in your car in case this happens.
14. A tool kit
A tool kit with a Phillips head screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, vise grips, an adjustable wrench and a pair of pliers will come in handy if you break down and can fix things on your own.
15. A fleece blanket
A fleece blanket will keep you warm in the event that your car breaks down during a snow storm.
Once you've packed up your homemade roadside safety kit, consider bringing your car down to New Jersey Auto Auction. Our maintenance technicians can make sure your car is working properly so you're less likely to break down.