Emergency Roadside Kit: Five Smart Things You Didn’t Think To Include

A dead battery, a flat tire, an auto collision: you never know when you will get into an accident or suffer from car troubles. Regardless of the situation, you can stay calm and be prepared by having a smartly packed roadside emergency kit in your car.

If you already have a kit, double-check to make sure you have everything, and consider adding the following items. If you don't have a kit, make sure you include these five things when you do make one:

1. Old Cell Phone

It is very smart to have an old, but fully charged, cell phone packed in your emergency kit. Even if you have a cell phone, it is a good idea to have a backup phone. After all, the phone you carry and use the most might be dead at the time of the accident—and you do not want that to happen.

So, pack that old cell phone into your emergency kit. You do not need to pay for service on it, because even older cell phones will allow you to call 911 free of charge—even without a monthly subscription plan.

2. Duct Tape

Nearly everyone knows that duct tape is an essential for the home. However, it's also smart to carry some duct tape in your vehicle. It's a quick, universal solution that can be used for a variety of situations. No need for the fancy stuff; plain silver duct tape will do the trick. Just make sure you have a full roll in your kit.

3. Non-Perishable Food

It may seem like a no-brainer to carry food in your emergency kit, but many people do not. While you cannot carry the good stuff, you can carry some non-perishable items in your kit. Canned foods—with a can opener—are a good choice. If you do not want to carry heavy food, consider keeping protein bars in your kit.

4. Pen, Paper, and Camera

You should also carry paper, a pen, and a camera in your kit. You can always use an old cell phone with a camera, so that it does double-duty. As for the pen and paper, a small notebook and cheap pen will work. These items may not seem necessary, but they can come in handy should you be in an accident—you can use them to document evidence and write down license plate and insurance information. You can also use them to leave notes on your car if you wander off.

5. Maps

Finally, make sure you carry maps of your local area. Even if you think you know the area well, chances are you do not know it well enough. GPS is handy, but it doesn't always work—so carry a few updated maps in your kit. It's good to have the locations of nearby auto shops, like Mojave Paint And Body 2, marked on your map for reference.

These five items may not seem very important, but they can make a huge difference in the event of an accident. If you are in an accident, make sure phone the police and get your car to an auto body collision shop.