New Zealand is a country of drivers. Many of us are commuting a couple of hours a day, travelling out and about on the weekends and spending a decent amount of time in our cars. The reality is, every time we enter a vehicle and get out on the road – there’s always a chance something unexpected could happen.
No one expects to have an accident or come across one, but unfortunately they do happen. Preparing an emergency kit can help you out in almost every situation – whether it’s an easy fix like a sticking plaster for a small cut or if you’ve broken down and need jumper cables to restart your car.
The Must Haves in an Emergency Car Kit
Having these few essentials on hand will help put your mind at ease whenever you’re on the road – and could be a life-changing addition, should you end up in an unforeseen situation.
A warning triangle is used on the side of the road to warn other drivers that there has been a break down or accident ahead, so they are able to slow down and be wary. They should be placed approximately 200m before an accident on either side of the accident to warn other drivers.
A set of good quality jumper cables could help you – or someone else – restart your car should you have a flat battery. Be sure to get your car battery tested regularly and maintained so this is less likely to happen, and keep jumper cables in your kit so you don’t end up stuck somewhere with a flat battery. Another option are portable power banks that are small enough to store in your glovebox and capable of restarting your vehicle.
Even though we often rely on our cell phones for a source of light, having a torch on you will be essential if you find yourself in an accident where you can’t see very well and your belongings may have been scattered. A torch can also help you find things you are looking for in your emergency kit, check passengers for injuries and even potentially flag down passing cars for help. Make sure to include spare batteries for this or ensure it’s a self-charging torch.
First aid kit
A first aid kit is an essential item to include in your emergency kit. It should include an assortment of bandages, dressings, plasters, a pair of scissors, painkillers and antiseptic wipes. If you can include an emergency blanket that could also come in very handy if an accident occurs and there is some time waiting for emergency services to arrive. If you or any of your immediate family suffer from medical conditions requiring medication, be sure to include back-ups of these in your kit too – like an extra inhaler if there’s an asthmatic on board.
Tyre repair kit
A flat tyre is one of the most common issues drivers run into and having a tyre repair kit available could help you get from A to B. Finding yourself stuck in the middle of a motorway with a flat tyre is a situation no one wants to be in, so investing in a tyre repair kit gives you the ability to temporarily fix the issue and drive to the nearest service station. It would be wise the check of the inflation of your spare wheel from time to time to ensure it isn’t flat.
A car escape tool
This small tool can be kept on a key chain or in the glovebox compartment in the car. It allows you to break car windows and cut through seat belts, which in some accidents could mean the difference between life or death.
A fire extinguisher
A fire extinguisher could help you save your own vehicle or help someone else who has been involved in an accident where a fire has broken out. Keeping one on hand in your kit will help you feel safe and prepared.
A copy of your driver’s license
If you’re involved in a serious accident where medical staff need to know information about you with urgency – keeping a copy of your driver’s license and other relevant personal or medical information in the emergency kit may help them out if they are unable to communicate with you.
The Nice to Haves in an Emergency Car Kit
Given New Zealand’s susceptibility to natural disasters like earthquakes, there may be occasions where a car emergency kit is just as essential to survival as an at home one..
Other items you could include in your kit are things like:
• a portable battery charger for your phone
• a spare change of clothes
• a waterproof jacket
• durable outdoor shoes and a blanket
The current reality also requires us to carry face masks and keep up good hygiene practices – so helpful additions to your kit might also include disposable face masks, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes.
Lastly remember to check your items every six months and make sure any expired items are replaced or recharged as you go.
For added protection for Suzuki owners all new Suzuki vehicles come with 5 years Roadside Assistance. So assistance in the case of a breakdown or emergency is only a phone call away.
For more helpful tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your vehicle, check out our complete guide to buying a new car here or get in touch with one of our knowledgeable dealership team.