The Boy Scouts had it figured out from page one of the guidebook: Be prepared. And if you drive a car, you’re probably not as prepared as you should be. Things can and do happen, whether it’s a flat tire on a deserted road, a dead battery at the airport parking lot or even a sudden deer sighting that sends you swerving into a lake. Do you have everything you need to handle — and, yes, survive — such situations? A few strategic items can make all the difference, so here’s your guide to the best car gear for emergencies.
There are two ways you can go about this. First, you can take the piecemeal approach, buying just the items you consider essential or don’t already have. Second, you can buy an all-in-one emergency roadside kit. The latter is the quicker, easier way to go — one purchase and you’re done — but you get no control over what’s actually in the kit. It may exclude items you want, and it may have cheap, less effective versions of important tools.
I’ll start with a kit, then dive into the piecemeal items you may want to consider — some of which aren’t even in the kit, just saying. Although I haven’t tried every product personally, each one earned top marks from thousands of Amazon customers.