Essentials for Your Car’s Trunk
Are You Prepared for Montana?
It’s easy to fall into a sense of complacency when you know there’s emergency assistance you can always rely on. But when you’re on the road, it’s a different kind of challenge when the unexpected happens. It’s easy enough if your car breaks down while you’re in a populated area where help is a phone call and just minutes away. But what if some kind of misfortune happens while you’re on a lonely stretch of road in the middle of Montana? If you’re not prepared, even a simple flat tire can turn into a major inconvenience in this kind of setting. So don’t take the risk. Make sure you always have these essentials packed in your car every time you get on the road.
Take a look inside your trunk. Most of these things are easy to put in and never need replaced. If you have been in a wreck, be sure to have your car towed to Big Sky Collision Center in Billings!
All-year round must haves
Your car’s manual. Always keep it readily available in your glove compartment. Whatever info you need to know about your car, it’s there.
Jumper cables. No matter how good a driver you are, you should accept the fact that a dead battery can happen, even to the best of us. That’s why owning and knowing how to use jumper cables is a must. Good for you if you never have to use it to get your dead engine started. You can still use it to help others who might be in a fix.
Tire changing essentials. This includes a spare tire (in good condition or is ready-to-use), a tire jack and iron, and a lug wrench. Even if you don’t know how to change a flat, with these materials on hand, you can just wait for someone who knows how to come along and you’ll be all set to get back on the road. But why wait? You’ll be much better off if you simply learn how to do it on your own.
Tire repair kit or a portable air compressor/inflator. When your tire leaks, instead of immediately using your spare, you can use either of the two for a temporary fix. It will be enough to get you to the repair shop and have your tire fixed.
Flashlight with extra batteries. Absolutely essential during nighttime, especially when you need to make an unexpected stop at an area that is unlit or insufficiently lighted.
Flares or reflective triangles. A flashlight will let you see what you need to do when you’re in the dark. Flares or reflective triangles, on the other hand, will let others see you and avoid hitting you while you’re changing a flat or doing some other repair on your car.
Bright waterproof or water-resistant jacket. Complementing reflective triangles, wearing a bright jacket while you’re working on your car by the side of the road will alert other drivers of your presence. A jacket will also protect you from the cold and from the rain if it’s waterproof.
Duct tape. Your best friend when it comes to temporary fixes. Great for reattaching, sealing, and keeping something together. It’s like the Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
WD-40. Because your car is made of many metal parts, having some WD-40 around to lubricate what needs loosening or lubricating can help make things easier.
Tool kit. For quick fixes or some minor tweaks, a tool kit is just what your need to help save the day. Most will have the basics like a hammer, screwdriver set, wrenches, sockets, nuts and bolts.
First aid kit and manual. Because accidents happen, and accidents happen often, being able to give first aid can mean the difference between having a treatable injury and one that quickly turns into a life-threatening one. Your first aid kit should include the following items: bandages, gauze pads and tape, cotton, alcohol, tweezers, scissors, medicines for pain relief, fever, and anti-allergy, antiseptic ointment, burn ointment, anti-inflammatory ointment, and ice pack.
Water bottles. Will help keep you and your car hydrated in case you get stuck somewhere and have to wait for some time before you can get back on the road.
Energy bars or MREs (meals ready to eat). Similar with water, you’ll be glad to have some high-energy food to sustain you while you are stuck.
Maps. The paper kind, not the online kind. Because cell service isn’t everywhere and expecting that your GPS navigation tool will always be available is unrealistic. You’ll realize quickly enough how important a physical map is when you get lost and you can’t get any cell reception.
Change of clothes. In case you get drenched in rain (or snow), you’ll need a change of clothes because staying drenched and wet is not a good idea.
Folding shovel. Use to dig out snow or shovel around your tires.
Ice scraper. For getting rid of ice on your windshield.
Carpet remnant or cardboard. To be placed under your tires to create or increase traction so you can get unstuck from the ice.
Blanket. To help keep you warm as snow continues falling.
Be Safe, Be Prepared
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we want a world where no crashes happen and no emergencies occur. We also know that that won’t happen. Until we can have an accident free universe, we need to be prepared. Have these items in your trunk (most can be tucked under the baseboard out of sight) so that you’re well prepared when travelling those stretches of our Montana roads that don’t have cell service.
Are you prepared for the road?