It’s unlikely that, on any given day, you wake up expecting to be involved in a car accident. Sure, now that you’ve been prompted to think about car accidents by reading this blog, you may believe you’re actively aware of the risk. But, it’s doubtful that most of us would think about being personally involved in an accident, without the topic being brought up by a terrifying story on the news, a friend, or elsewhere.
Though personal injury collisions in Canada have been on the decline over the past decades thanks to advancements in safety measures, roughly 150,000 Canadians are still impacted by personal injury collisions each year according to Transport Canada.
Now that we’ve triggered the fear response in your amygdala (sorry about that), we’re here to help you prepare for something we hope you never need to respond to: a car accident resulting in a personal injury to you, your passenger(s), and/or another party.
This may not be what you expected us to say, but the purpose of a plastic storage container is to securely store each of the items you need in an emergency kit. In the event of an accident, this will help you quickly find all of your items in an organized, convenient location, like your trunk.
Okay, this one's a little more obvious. Your local grocery store, pharmacy, or hardware store will surely have what you’re looking for. Make sure it has antiseptic wipes, bandages, sterile gauze pads, first aid tape, and general bandages. Most first aid kits will also come with items like scissors, safety pins, and even a miniature flashlight.
Keeping a fire extinguisher in your car helps in the event of a small fire and can prevent the fire from becoming unmanageable. Make sure that the fire extinguisher is rated to the standards of your local regulations and is within its life expectancy (generally ~10 years).
Having, or not having booster cables can be the difference between getting home on your own and having to call a tow truck. Be sure you know how to properly use booster cables, before hooking them up to a vehicle. Not hooking booster cables up properly can cause permanent damage to your vehicles battery and/or electrical system.
At night, an accident or breakdown can be extremely hard to see by other motorists, especially in the case of a dead car battery, where your hazard lights may not work. Road flares can be placed around your vehicle to alert approaching drivers of the hazard, and create a safer environment for you to deal with your situation.
You most likely have a smartphone that covers this one. A camera will allow you to document the damage to your own, and other individual's vehicles in the case of an accident. Properly documenting an accident is extremely important, and we will cover this topic in detail in an upcoming blog.
In the United States alone, 220 million flat tires occur each year. Thats roughly seven punctures every second. Having (and knowing how to use) a tire repair kit and portable tire pump can have you back up and running in no time, allowing you to skip the long tow truck wait times.
A breakdown or an accident in the dark can make the process of documenting the accident and getting back on the road challenging. Be sure to have a flashlight and plenty of spare batteries in your emergency kit, so you can safely and efficiently deal with your situation.
Nuts, granola, dried fruits, and crackers are all examples of non-perishable food items that you can keep in your vehicle to tide you over if you become stranded. Bottled water is also vital to keep you hydrated.
Don't let balmy temperatures or a powerful heater fool you. Temperatures (especially in remote areas) can drop quickly and, without a functioning heater, your body temperature will drop with them. A thermal blanket can protect you from the elements until help arrives.
Sometimes a minor repair can get you back up and running without the need for a tow or a mechanic. Be sure that you have a tool kit and a pair of work gloves handy to make that quick fix.
Your local auto parts store should have auto safety kits available, which will tick most of the boxes to prepare your emergency kit. Here's a list of some retailers to check out: