Stocking Vehicle Roadside Repair Kit

Regardless of a vehicle's age, a roadside emergency can occur at any time. Drivers should be prepared with a basic kit of tools and equipment to get the car back on the road as soon as possible.

At the very least, a roadside emergency can be an a minor inconvenience. At the worst, it can compromise the safety of the driver and passengers. Anything from a blown-out tire to an overheated engine can necessitate pulling over for a quick fix. Having the right tools can make the process go far more smoothly and help drivers avoid the seemingly endless wait for service personnel to arrive.

Stocking a roadside repair kit requires some necessities. It's also a good idea to routinely check the stock of the kit to be sure everything is in working order. Here are the items to keep on hand.

First aid kit: Handling major or minor emergencies may require a first aid kit to mend scratches, abrasions or minor burns. Become familiar with the kit before it is needed.

Cellular phone: It's never a good idea to talk on a cell phone while driving. However, a mobile phone can prove invaluable if there is an emergency. Simply call for assistance instead of having to seek out a phone or flag down a motorist.

Flares or warning light: A breakdown at night or when visibility is poor can be dangerous. Keep a warning light, caution triangle or flares in the trunk to illuminate the location of the vehicle.

Inflated spare tire: Always keep a spare tire on hand, as tire blowouts or leaks tend to be one of the most common causes of breakdowns. Be sure to have a tire iron, jack, and lug wrench.

Spare fuses: A burnt-out fuse may be responsible for an electrical problem. Replacing the fuse is an easy fix.

Jumper cables: A dead battery can be revived with jumper cables, provided another car is available to offer the jump. A portable battery booster is another handy tool in case there are no other cars to recharge the battery.

* Flashlight: This simple tool can be invaluable at night, especially if keys or tools are dropped.

* Gloves, cleaner and rags: Cars are full of oils, fluids and grease. That means even a simple repair can get a person dirty.

* Pen and paper: Ideal for leaving a note or taking down information in the event of an accident. A disposable camera can also be handy to take photos of an accident scene.

* Money: When traveling, always carry cash for emergencies. Not every place takes credit or debit cards.

* Snacks and water: A roadside emergency may mean some time spent stranded. Keep a stash of non-perishable items in the car to alleviate hunger pangs and keep riders quenched.