Skip to main content

What Should You Have in Your Car for an Emergency?

emergency road sign in the front with a tire and a car in the background

No one likes to think about the possibility of getting into an accident or facing some other emergency while driving. From running out of gas to being stuck far from home due to inclement weather, these emergencies are at best a hassle and at worst a serious hazard.

Thankfully, you could reduce some of the risks of driving, including the financial risks, by ensuring your car is fully stocked with everything you might need in an emergency, and by having auto insurance. From bottled water to a tire pressure gauge, this guide covers everything you should keep in your vehicle in case of emergency.

What Should I Keep in My Car for Emergencies?

Every driver should have an emergency kit in their vehicle at all times. These kits are a collection of items that can keep you safe, warm, and protected when something goes wrong.

There are other things you should always have with you in addition to your emergency kit. For starters, you should never drive without your driver’s license in your possession. It is also important you leave your proof of car insurance in your vehicle as well. Having proof of insurance isn’t just convenient; the failure to carry it with you while driving could result in a ticket in most states.

What Are the 5 Essentials for an Emergency Kit?

Not sure what you should keep in your car for emergencies? Every car could use a proper emergency kit, which is simply a collection of useful items that should remain in your vehicle at all times. The five most important pieces to an emergency kit include:

Jumper Cables

Many vehicle emergencies involve cars that are unable to start. More often than not, the inability to start is related to an issue with the battery. When the battery has been drained, a jump start from another vehicle could be your best option for safely getting back on the road. Having jumper cables in your vehicle ensures you do not have to rely on the preparedness of strangers when your car doesn’t start.

Tool Kits

There are a variety of small hand tools that could come in handy during an emergency. From tire pressure gauges to adjustable wrenches, many car issues can be dealt with using a little know-how and a few available tools.


When emergencies happen, the weather outside your vehicle is often the most pressing hazard. In the winter months, a blanket could be an invaluable part of your emergency kit. This includes either warm, knitted blankets or even space blankets in case of extreme weather.

Spare Tire

man holding an emergency spare tire with a car in the background

A spare tire is an invaluable tool that can address many emergencies. However, having the tire alone is not enough. It is also crucial that you keep the tools necessary to change a tire, including the wheel wrench and a tripod jack.

Food and Water

Few people intend to be stranded in a disabled vehicle for hours at a time, let alone days. However, it is never a bad idea to keep non-perishable food and water in your vehicle if the unthinkable happens. This food should be able to withstand both cold and hot temperatures.

What Every Woman Should Keep in Her Car

Most of the important things a woman should keep in her car following an accident are essential regardless of a driver’s gender. That said, depending on your circumstances, there could be a variety of items you might want to keep in your vehicle in addition to a standard emergency kit. These items could include:

  • A change of clothes
  • Spare shoes
  • Period protection
  • Mini-cosmetics case
  • Spare phone chargers

What Every Man Should Have in his Car

As is the case with female drivers, most of the important items to men could apply to any driver regardless of gender. These items are helpful if you are traveling with kids or planning for a vacation, and some of the items a man could benefit from having in his car include:

  • Personal grooming kit
  • Flashlights
  • Jumper cables
  • Cologne
  • Mouthwash

What Should You Not Keep In Your car?

Some things are better left at home. Items that are likely to cause you legal complications or that might catch the attention of thieves should not be left unattended in your vehicle. Some of these items include:

  • Medicine. There are multiple reasons not to leave medication in your vehicle. For starters, pill bottles may catch the attention of thieves and could lead to a break-in. What’s more, most medication is designed to be stored at a certain temperature. The hot temperatures common within parked cars could make your medication less effective.
  • Electronics. Most electronic devices are not intended for high heat. Storing them in a parked car could damage your electronics or even render them useless in some cases.
  • Groceries. Perishable food and hot cars don’t mix. While refrigerated items might last an hour or less in the heat, frozen items have an even shorter shelf life. Leaving groceries in the car is never a good idea.
  • Wine. Leaving a bottle of wine in the car could also ruin the wine before you ever have a chance to open it. The wine inside a glass bottle could expand in a hot car, causing the wine to leak or become contaminated.
  • Firearms. Leaving a firearm unattended is never a good idea. This is especially true with motor vehicles, where the gun could be easily accessible to children or other individuals who should not have access to it.

Can Your Insurance Company Help?

Your insurance agent can help you by ensuring you always have an updated copy of your proof of insurance. Of course, your auto insurance agent can do more than help you keep the essentials in your vehicle. In addition to helping you find the best rate and the right coverage, your insurance agent could also ensure your policy includes things like roadside assistance that can reduce the stress that can come with a car accident or dead battery.

Freeway Insurance offers roadside assistance along with competitive rates and great coverage. Contact a licensed agent with Freeway Insurance to learn more about how the right policy could protect you and your loved ones. You can get a quote online or find your local office to get started.

Ready to Get a Quick Quote?