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What emergency kit should your car never be without?

Smart drivers are always prepared and keep an emergency kit in their car.
Dec 12th 2016, 3:39 PM 2,021 0

IN MANY EUROPEAN countries, you are, by law, required to keep various pieces of emergency kit in your car at all times.

In France, Spain and Italy you must have reflective jackets for each occupant and a warning triangle – and in Germany you have to also carry a first aid kit. You can be fined if caught without these items.

Here in Ireland, there are no compulsory items to carry but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good idea to have some essential pieces of kit just in case of an emergency or breakdown.

Reflective jackets are a good idea as they help you and your occupants be seen as they enhance your visibility to other road users. Hi-vis vests also allow the emergency services to find you more easily.

A warning triangle is also well worth carrying. If you break down, you should place the reflective triangle 30 metres behind your vehicle to warn other drivers. (However, do not place a warning triangle on the motorway as it is too dangerous to do so.)

A first aid kit is also recommended. Statistics say that we are likely to be involved in at least one car accident in our lifetime, and a well-equipped first aid kit in your car could be a life-saver while waiting for emergency services. (Even literally.)

It can also help clean and protect cuts, burns, insect bites and stings so you can continue on with your journey without too much delay.

The following items are recommended for your car first aid kit: dressings, bandages and wash-proof plasters in various sizes, sterile cleansing wipes, powder free gloves, disposable heat retaining adult foil blanket, a disposable Revive-Aid resuscitation mouth to mouth face shield and a pair of scissors.

You can buy ready-made car first aid kits from many online retailers as well as places like Halfords and Boots.

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It is also a good idea to carry spare bulbs for your car’s external lights. In addition, carrying spare fuses, jump leads, a torch and a fire extinguisher is recommended – as is a spare battery pack (charged) so you can power your phone; a bottle of water for your occupants; and one for the car in case you run out of screen wash. De-icer is a must for winter and a blanket to keep warm.

With all this kit it is important that you know how to use it – so make sure that you read the instructions before you pack it into the car and keep the instructions with the kit in the car too. Better still, take a first aid course and keep the numbers of your breakdown and insurance company in your phone and on paper in the car.

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Melanie May


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