Roadside Emergency Essentials: What You Need and What You Should Know


  • There are more than 395,000 vehicle collisions in Florida every year.
  • In 2016, there were an average of 1081 crashes per day.
  • There were more than 668,699 drivers involved in crashes in 2016.

As injury lawyers in South Florida, we have spent years representing victims of negligence. While you certainly have control over the way that you drive, you can’t do anything about the driving habits of those you are sharing the road with. While a wreck could leave you disabled on the side of the road, so can a flat tire or other mechanical failure.

It really doesn’t matter why you are stranded when it comes to creating a roadside emergency kit. There are essentials that you may have already thought of, and a few things that you may not have considered. Let’s take a look at both.

Common Essentials to Include

When it comes to putting an emergency kit together for your vehicle, it’s always a good idea to include the basics. That means that these items may be no surprise to you. It’s still a good idea to mention them just in case they are so common they are overlooked.

1) Jumper cables: Many people include these in their trunk no matter what, and some people believe that someone else will come along to save them. Never rely on another driver to stop or to be carrying what you need. Jumper cables can get you out of a real jam if your battery dies, and a pair of jumper cables may allow you to help someone who didn’t think to buy their own.

2) LED Flares: Traditional flares were your only option in the “old days.” Today, LED flares are the go-to.

3) Flashlight: It’s always a good idea to carry a flashlight in your trunk or glove box. Don’t forget to throw in a pack of fresh batteries. You could be making a mistake if you rely on your cell phone’s flashlight. If your battery goes dead, so does your source of light. You really shouldn’t rely on your phone for everything, especially helping you out of an emergency situation.

4) Took Kit: You don’t need your grandfather’s giant toolbox in your trunk, but you do need a basic supply of tools. Think a pocket knife, screwdrivers, wrench and pliers. If you don’t want to buy each separately, you can easily find a kit at your local home improvement store or even online.

5) Food and Water: You never know how long you’re going to be stranded. You’ll need to keep your energy up and you can’t do that if your starving and dehydrated. Pack a box of energy or granola bars in your kit along with several bottles of water. It’s not a full meal, but will do in a pinch.

Things You May Not Have Thought Of

Here are a few things that will serve you well in an emergency but that you may not immediately think of.

1) Windshield Washer Fluid in a Spray Bottle: This isn’t something that people consider. If, for whatever reason, you can’t turn your engine over or your windshield washer fluid empties, you’ll want access to some if you need to clear your windows. Having a normal spray bottle filled with fluid means that you have a chance to clear your windows.

2) Pen and Paper: Okay. This may not seem like something you want to include in an emergency kit, but when was the last time you dug through your bag or glove box looking for a pen and couldn’t find one? It happens all the time. Again, don’t just rely on your phone to take notes.

3) Motor Oil: Grab a quart or two of motor oil and stick it in your kit. If you spring a leak or otherwise run out, you can fill up quickly and maybe be able to make it home or to somewhere safe.

4) An Open Credit Card: Many people don’t know that some credit cards come with roadside assistance. Find one of these credit cards, open it and stick it in your trunk. You get two benefits: Money in an emergency and access to someone who can help you.

5) Blankets: If we’re honest, there’s little chance you’ll need a ton of blankets if you get stranded in South Florida, but it does get chilly at night.  You could become colder than you think possible if you’re stranded on the side of the road. Throw a light blanket in with your kit, as well as an extra change of clothes and shoes. If you catch a chill or get wet, you’ll be happy for the dry items.

Always Keep Contact Information for a Miami Car Accident Lawyer on Hand

No one expects to be involved in an incident that leaves them stranded but it happens everyday. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to make it out safely. Think about your unique area of travel and which items may be wise to include in your own personal emergency kit. Use the ideas above as a starting point.

If you are injured in an accident in South Florida, you need our team of Miami car accident lawyers. We are here for you around the clock and are ready to represent you to our full capabilities. Call our office now to schedule your free case evaluation and discover more about how we can assist you. You do not have to suffer financially due to someone’s negligence.

About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.