There is an endless list of items you could have in your car, depending on your needs and preferences. But how many of these can come in handy in an emergency? Whether you are visiting relatives in Nyeri or Kisumu, going on a road trip to the Masai Mara, or your usual town run, there are emergency essentials that you must have in your car at all times.
Emergency essentials are items that come in handy in case of unforeseen obstacles such as car trouble. Their role is to get you back on the road again as quickly as possible.
Here are 8 emergency essentials you should have in your call at all times:
One of the most likely hiccups you will get on the road is a flat tire. Kenyan roads can be rough, particularly if you are going off the beaten path. You should therefore carry a well-inflated spare tire at all times. In recent times, most car models, particularly SUVs such as the Rav 4 are coming without a spare tire as standard equipment. Instead, they have a tire repair kit. If you drive long distances and have space, it may be advisable to invest in a spare tire for your vehicle.
Jack & Lug Wrench
Of course, having a spare tire won’t solve your problem if you don’t have a jack and lug wrench. The jack is a lifting device that helps you raise the level of your vehicle to enable tire changing. The lug wrench is used to loosen/tighten the nuts on the wheels. Occasionally, your nuts may be rusty or too tight, in which case it may help to carry a bottle of WD40 to lubricate and loosen them.
A flat battery happens even to the best of us when we least expect it. Ensure that you have a pair of jumper cables in your trunk. Trust me; it is much easier to ask for help from a passing driver when you have your own jumpers.
Side note: Check on your jumper cables now and then to ensure that they are in good working order. In my experience, they do tend to get rusty and, eh, useless.
If you are lucky, your car will give you some sort of warning before it stalls for whatever reason. This may give you a chance to park safely on the side of the road. If you don’t have this luxury and stalls right in the middle of the road, you will need life savers/ warning triangles. Reflective metal triangles are designed to warn other drivers that there is a stalled car ahead. They should therefore be placed at a safe distance on both sides of the vehicle.
First Aid Kit
A well-equipped first aid kit is necessary to nurse emergency cuts, burns, and scrapes, in case of an accident. Its main purpose is to manage the emergency as you wait for medical help or make your way to a hospital.
A torch is one of the most practical items you can keep in your car. If your car stalls or breaks down during the night, a torch can come in handy as you take a look under the bonnet, connect jumper cables or change a tire. Similarly, it can help you signal to oncoming traffic about a stalled car, keeping you safe. Because you don’t know how long you may need to use the torch, keep a pair of fresh batteries in the glove compartment.
You will be surprised at how versatile duct tape can be. If you have been in a minor accident and your lights or side mirrors have been broken, duct tape can hold them together long enough to get to your mechanic. Basically, duct tape can hold together almost any car part, including the bonnet, doors, and even the bumper. It will even seal any unexpected leaks until you get help.
A bottle of water will come in handy in case you experience a radiator emergency. Your car may overheat for various reasons. The coolant may be low, or the cooling system may be faulty. Whatever the reason, use water to cool off your engine. This will buy you time to get to your destination or a garage.