Southern California

Why You Should Have a Vehicle Emergency Kit In Your Car

NBC 7 Responds speaks to AAA Auto Club about the importance of keeping an emergency kit in your car.

You can never be completely prepared for an emergency. But you can at least take some steps to be as prepared as possible.

And while households across the country have some items they can use in an emergency, whether that means a fire extinguisher, a durable box for important documents and family heirlooms, and canned foods. But so often people overlook similar kits for their vehicles.

“We just never know when something is gonna happen where we can become stranded on the side of the road where we’re gonna need some very important essentials that we would have in our home. Let’s keep it in our vehicle just in case,” says Doug Shupe, a spokesperson for the Auto Club of Southern California.

Shupe says hundreds of people across the country die trapped inside of their car each year after their car became submerged in water or engulfed in flames. In 2017 Shupe says that number was just over 1800 deaths.

In hopes of reducing those numbers, Shupe suggests getting a kit together for your vehicle.

As for what should go inside, Shupe says drivers should have flashlights, jumper cables, a small tool kit, water, and gloves and other warm clothing in case you’re exposed to the elements.

Another necessary tool to have is a Vehicle Escape Tool, a hammer-like instrument that can break your window glass if you or someone else is trapped inside a burning car or if your car is submerged in water. Shupe says you should have one for tempered auto glass and laminated glass.

“You need to know which windows in your vehicle are laminated and which ones are tempered because when it comes to a crash whether it be your vehicle being submerged in water or a fire you need to look for that tempered window, know where it is and exit out the vehicle,” says Shupe.

“Having that tool inside your vehicle can really save a life,” he adds. “Always have your vehicle prepared for an emergency, just like you would your home. You never know when something is going to happen.”

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