AAA: More than 40 percent of drivers don’t carry an emergency kit
In the wake of the crash on I-95 here in Virginia that left some motorists stranded for more than 24 hours, AAA is reminding drivers of the importance of being prepared for any possibility, even when the plan is to just go a short distance or to be out for just a short time.
Drivers are being urged to put together a simple winter emergency kit they can keep in their vehicles so that the inconvenience of a breakdown or backup does not result in what could be a life-threatening situation.
Previous AAA research indicates that more than 40 percent of drivers do not carry an emergency kit in their vehicle.
“While the backup on the I-95 seems an extreme example, hours-long delays on winter roadways are not unusual,” says Morgan Dean, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “And, these situations are hardly limited to the Northeast. We’ve seen the same from Georgia to Texas. Just a little bit of snow or ice can leave motorists stranded for hours on end.”
In addition to winter-specific items such as a snow shovel, scraper or de-icer, AAA reminds drivers to always have a few extra blankets, water and snacks on hand and, when traveling with anyone who may have medical needs, it is always critical to have extra medications available to meet those needs as well.
“The worst of winter is still ahead. Whether you plan to drive a short distance to the gym or plan to get away for a long weekend, consider the possibility of a breakdown or delay and plan accordingly,” Dean adds.
AAA Winter Emergency Kit includes:
- Mobile phone and car charger
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Jumper cables or jump pack
- Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, duct tape, plastic zip ties)
- Tarp, raincoat and gloves to help stay clean/dry working at the roadside
- Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
- Warning devices (flares, reflective triangles or LED beacons)
- First-aid kit
- Drinking water
- Snacks/food for your passengers and any pets
- Ice scraper
- Snow brush
- Winter windshield washer solvent
- Traction aids (sand, salt, non-clumping cat litter or traction mats)
- Warm gloves, clothes, hats and blankets for all passengers in your car