Taking a Summer Road Trip? 9 Must-Have Items for Your Car’s Emergency Kit
Life + Money

Taking a Summer Road Trip? 9 Must-Have Items for Your Car’s Emergency Kit

Pavel Vladychenko/GraphicStock

Along with your suitcases and beach bags, be sure to pack an emergency kit if you’re planning a road trip this summer.

That kit could come in handy if you run into car trouble along the way, an event that may be more likely than you think. Road service provider AAA said it expects to rescue 7 million drivers this summer. The three most common problems are related to car batteries, locks and tires.

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“Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts, and dead batteries,” AAA Automotive’s managing director said in a statement.

The number of roadside service calls is going up as more drivers hit the road and a growing number of new vehicles feature low-profile tires, which are more prone to damage, while lacking spare tires.

Drivers who are concerned can schedule a checkup before taking a road trip, having a professional check their batteries and tires, as well as change the oil and refill fluids.

AAA said that 40 percent of American drivers are unprepared for an emergency breakdown. One in five don’t know how to change a tire, and two in five don’t have an emergency kit.

Related: Why High-Tech Cars Are Breaking Down

Here’s what AAA recommends keeping in your emergency kit:

  • Mobile phone and car charger

  • Flashlight with extra batteries

  • First-aid kit

  • Basic toolkit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench

  • Windshield washer fluid

  • Jumper cables

  • Emergency flare/reflectors

  • Drinking water

  • Extra snacks for both people and pets