Safety First

Back in the old days, safety kits were fairly common features in cars. Drivers would carefully select important items that they’d need in any emergency situation and pack them away in their trunks or under a seat. That way, if they were ever stranded or in an accident and needed immediate attention, they would be prepared.

Today, however, with the use of cell phones and satellites, those safety kits have all but disappeared. And we’re not so sure that’s a good thing.

According to research, the number of stranded motorists continues to increase every year. And while cell phones are incredibly helpful, they won’t be able to rescue you in the event of bad weather or an accident, nor will they be able to provide immediate first aid. That’s why, for your own safety and that of your loved ones, it’s important to have a few essentials with you that can meet immediate needs when help is not readily available or accessible.

The basic elements of any safety kit address the key areas of water, food, warmth and first aid. While during the summer months, warmth isn’t much of an issue, water certainly is. If your car breaks down on the road on a hot day, you will need to stay hydrated and cool. You don’t need heat stroke to add to your woes. And, when winter does come around, you’ll also need to make sure you have an extra layer of insulation in case you are forced to endure an extended period of time in frigid temperatures. Consider adding an extra blanket and a pair of wool gloves or socks if you have room.

Food is also an important component. Along with your need for water, you’ll also need to sustain your nourishment if hours—or even days—away. Keep non-perishable items such as granola bars and nuts on hand, and consider adding hard candies to the kit in case of a diabetic emergency.

Regarding first aid, there’s no need to go overboard; just make sure the basics are included. Keep bandages, sterile pads and pain relievers on hand in order to treat minor injuries until help arrives. And, if you do have room, consider optional items such as Ace bandages, medical tape, gauze, safety pins and paper towels.

After you’ve covered the basic elements, consider what else is important to you in case of an emergency. You’ll likely need a flashlight, which can come in handy both at night and when examining your vehicle. And batteries, multi-purpose tools, rain ponchos, scissors and “Help” signs can also be useful. For winter months, also consider adding instant warm packs, which can generate quick heat that lasts for hours.

The point of having a safety kit is to meet immediate needs until help arrives. It should be compact and easily accessible, and all of the vehicle’s authorized drivers should know where it’s located. Remember, just because we live in a connected world doesn’t mean that we can throw common sense and safety out the window. Add a safety kit to your vehicle today and be prepared for whatever unexpected situations come your way. And, as always, know that your friends at D&R Autoworks will be here to offer great repair service in your time of need.

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