Driving a car can lead to all types of emergencies that happen when you least expect it even when your car is serviced regularly. You can encounter roadworks, breakdowns, getting lost after a wrong turn, a flat tire in the rain, and so on.
Having the right car emergency kit in your car at all times will come in handy when you have to deal with the unexpected and keep you safe at the same time. But make sure you plan your emergency car kit wisely. So, here are eight items to have in your emergency car kit before you drive out to your next destination.
Eight Must-Have Car Accessories in Your Emergency Kit
1. Multi-PurposeWindow Hammer
A multi-purpose window hammer is a safety device that can help in dire situations. Its primary use is for breaking through car windows and vertical glazing, which are usually tempered. In the event of a collision where you are unable to break through the doors, this window hammer can help you break free via your windows.
Some multi-purpose window hammers also come with a seat belt cutter and a small flashlight. Although, there are numerous hacks out there that use other objects found in a car to break windows, it is still best to bring along a window hammer as certain tempered windows require stronger force to break through them.
2. Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is one of the most essential emergency items to have in your car at all times. Not only is it used to put out car fires, but it can also be used as a tool for self-defense.
Many car fires usually happen due to a short-circuit, and one kilogram (kg) of dry powder fire extinguisher is safe to be kept in any car. This extinguisher is ideally placed under the front passenger so that it is reachable in the event of an emergency and the price of one usually starts from RM70.
3. First-Aid Kit
No one expects you to instantly turn into a medical hero in case of an emergency, but having a basic first aid kit in your car can surely help yourself and others. Not only would this kit help avoid the risk of more serious injuries, but in some cases, it can even save lives. Here are some of the items you should have in your first aid kit.
- Mild antiseptic cleanser
- Gauze pads
- Cotton pads
- Adhesive tape
- Triangular sling cloth
- Cooling packs
- Massage oil
- Medications such as paracetamols, pain-killers, and antihistamines
First aid kits are usually available at any pharmacy for as low as RM30 and can go up to RM200 depending on the quality or brand.
4. Jumper Cables
Car batteries can drain out anytime and one of the common culprits is leaving the light on (external or internal) when the car is not running. But in the absence of any roadside emergency assistance, one way you can get your battery running again is by jump-starting it by connecting jumper cables to another car. How to use it is included in your car’s manual, so do read it carefully because if it is done incorrectly, the damage it can bring to your car can be serious and costly.
Depending on the type of cables that you buy, a set can cost you around RM50. You can also find jumper cables that use a certain ‘powerbank’ instead of another car to recharge the dead battery.
Read also: How to Maintain Your Car Engine During MCO
5. Dashboard Camera
A car’s ‘dashboard’ camera is a must-have for cars that are not built-in with it. This camera records your journey and the incidents that happen along the way, especially if you are involved in a road accident – you can use the footage to review the incident, as well as provide evidence if another party is at fault.
So, if there are no witnesses or street cameras around, the recording from your dashboard camera will be able to help you as you file a police report for a car collision, or if anything out of the ordinary occurs.
Water is usually the most common item that is always overlooked in a car’s emergency kit. Not only are they thirst quenchers, but water can be a life-saver if your car breaks down by the roadside or in a remote area. Water is also useful for cleaning out wounds, topping up a nearly empty radiator, and for general cleaning duties in and around the car (like when birds start leaving their droppings all-around your windshield).
7. Warning Triangle Kit
Warning triangle kits are signboards with red reflective materials and are usually used in emergencies or when a car gets stranded by the roadside. They are placed on the side of the road (about 45 meters from the rear of a damaged car) as a warning sign to other road users. Countries in Europe such as Austria, Spain, France, Belgium, and Italy made it compulsory for use of warning triangles if your car has been involved in an accident or it breaks down – they can be fined if they neglect to use it during an emergency!
8. Spare Tire, Jack & Wheel Level
Tires can deflate or burst at any time, anywhere so it’s always best to keep a properly inflated spare tire in your boot, as well as a jack and wheel lever so you can change a flat tire when needed. You can also use a brick as a wedging tool under the wheel on the opposite side of the car to provide extra stability when changing the tire.
Always Be Prepared & Stay Calm
Emergencies on the road can happen in a split second at any time, just like how life throws you a curveball when you least expect it. How ready you are to face these emergencies is totally up to you.
With these things in your emergency car kit, you are ready for any situation that might take place during your drive.
But, apart from this kit, having an emergency roadside assistance number is also important because you can ask for help with a simple phone call in the event of a breakdown. However, in the worst-case scenario, you can also dial for Malaysia Emergency Response Services (MERS) at 999 – this number combines all five emergency agencies including the police or the fire and rescue department.
With that, we hope you stay safe on your drives!
Read also: 7 Things to Check after Your Roadtrip
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