Being prepared for unexpected situations on the road can make all the difference.

This guide from The Wiser Driver Driving School will help you pack a comprehensive roadside emergency kit.

Stay safe and comfortable on your travels.

What Is Required to Stay Safe?

When it comes to staying safe during roadside emergencies, preparation is key. Here are some essential items that you should always have in your car.

First Aid Kit

It’s surprising how many drivers neglect a proper first aid kit. Car accidents and breakdowns can lead to minor injuries, and having access to first aid supplies can make a huge difference. According to the National Safety Council, 6,000,000 vehicle accidents occur annually in the United States. A first aid kit should contain adhesive bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, scissors, tweezers, and a first aid manual. Regularly check your kit and replace any expired items to maintain its effectiveness.

Flashlight with Extra Batteries

Driving at night or dealing with car problems in the dark is risky. A reliable flashlight is essential. Make sure to keep extra batteries with your flashlight to avoid running out of power when you need it the most. LED flashlights are a good choice because they last longer and are more durable than traditional ones. An LED flashlight is not only for seeing but also for signaling for help. It is a small investment that increases safety significantly.

Reflective Triangles or Road Flares

Visibility is everything during a roadside emergency, especially on busy roads or at night. Reflective triangles and road flares help alert other drivers to your presence, reducing the risk of further accidents. Reflective triangles are collapsible and easy to store, making them a practical choice. Road flares, on the other hand, are highly visible and can be lifesaving in poor weather conditions. The Lifeline AAA Excursion Road Kit is noted for including both reflective triangles and safety flares, which shows how vital these items are.

Fact - What items do you need for roadside safety?

Including these essential items in a roadside emergency kit not only improves safety but also provides peace of mind. For more tips on how to handle emergencies, check out our Pro Tips on maintaining control of your car in emergencies and reacting to road hazards.

What Tools Are Essential for Vehicle Maintenance?

Jumper Cables

Jumper cables are non-negotiable in a roadside emergency kit. Consider that over 60% of battery failures occur without any warning, according to AAA. Choose cables at least 10 feet long and gauge 6 or lower for optimal performance. Using these, you can jump-start your vehicle without waiting for professional help, saving both time and potentially costly tow fees. For more on avoiding common issues that lead to dead batteries and other problems, see our guide on common driving mistakes.

Tire Repair Kit and Inflator

Flat tires are one of the most frequent roadside issues, with over 7 tire punctures occurring every second in the U.S., according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association. A tire repair kit should include sealant and tools to temporarily fix small punctures. Paired with a portable tire inflator, you can reinflate your tire and reach the nearest service station safely. Prioritizing these tools helps avoid the need for towing, adding convenience and enhancing safety.

Basic Tool Set

A basic tool set is invaluable for minor repairs. This should include pliers, a wrench, screwdrivers, and duct tape. Having these tools on hand can help address a range of common issues, from tightening loose components to making quick fixes that enable you to continue your journey. Investing in a quality tool set ensures durability and reliability, which are critical during emergencies.

Is Your Car Battery at Risk?

For more information on maintaining your vehicle and tackling roadside challenges, see our tips on vehicle maintenance for safety.

How to Stay Comfortable During Emergencies

During a roadside emergency, comfort can make a significant difference in reducing stress and staying calm. Here’s what you need to keep in your car to ensure you are not just safe but also comfortable.

Staying Hydrated and Energized

Having bottled water in your emergency kit is essential. Dehydration can set in quickly, especially during the summer months, and can affect your ability to think clearly and make sound decisions. Aim to keep enough water to last you and your passengers for at least 24 hours. Non-perishable snacks such as granola bars, nuts, or dried fruit should also be part of your kit. These snacks provide the energy needed to remain alert while waiting for assistance.

Keeping Warm and Dry

A blanket and extra clothing are crucial for maintaining comfort, especially if you find yourself stranded in cold weather or during a sudden drop in temperature. Hypothermia can be a risk in cooler climates, even if you are inside your vehicle. Choose a compact, thermal blanket for your emergency kit, as they are designed to retain body heat. Additionally, keeping a set of extra clothing, including socks and gloves, can protect you from the elements and increase your overall comfort.

Being Practical with Tools

A multi-purpose utility tool is a must-have for any roadside emergency kit. These tools combine various functionalities like a knife, screwdriver, can opener, and pliers into a single, compact device. This versatility allows you to handle a range of minor repairs or adjustments without needing a full toolkit. One highly recommended tool is the Leatherman multi-tool, known for its durability and utility in various emergency scenarios. Having such a tool readily available can save valuable time and reduce stress during an emergency.

Fact - What Should You Keep in Your Car for Comfort During Emergencies?

By including these items in your roadside emergency kit, you not only protect yourself but also enhance your comfort in potentially stressful situations. For more detailed recommendations on preparing for specific driving challenges, check our guide on safe driving in bad weather.

Up next: Additional essentials you should consider for your roadside emergency kit.


A well-prepared roadside emergency kit can be a game changer in ensuring safety and comfort during unexpected situations. Essential items such as a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, reflective triangles, and a set of tools for vehicle maintenance are crucial. Additionally, staying hydrated and having non-perishable snacks, a blanket, extra clothing, and a multi-purpose utility tool can greatly enhance your comfort during emergencies.

Fact - Is Your Car Emergency Kit Up to Date?

Regularly checking and updating the contents of your kit is vital to maintaining its effectiveness. Expired items should be replaced to ensure everything is in working order when you need it most. This routine can prevent minor inconveniences from becoming significant problems.

Preparedness goes a long way in reducing stress and potential harm on the road. At The Wiser Driver, we believe that a proactive approach to driving can enhance safety for everyone. Our comprehensive programs, including personalized driving lessons and defensive driving courses, help drivers of all ages gain the confidence they need. Whether you’re looking to complete state-required classes or seeking hands-on learning with experienced instructors, we’ve got the expertise to support your journey.

Stay safe, stay prepared, and take the steps today to equip your vehicle with a thorough roadside emergency kit. For more practical advice and driving tips, explore our resources here.