What should you have in the trunk of your car in case of an emergency?
I’ll give you a hint- it’s not a cat. While they are cute, they are not very helpful in a crisis. Below is a list of some more helpful things to keep in the car.
Recommended items to have in the car in case of emergency
- Cell phone car charger
- Jumper Cables (be sure you know how to use them)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Flares & Reflective triangles
- Bag of sand or kitty litter (to help if stuck in ice, snow)
- Small shovel, snow brush and ice scraper
- Extra windshield solvent
- Blankets and extra clothing
- Nonperishable food items and water (e.g.. snack bars)
- List of emergency telephone numbers on a card in the glove compartment
- Auto club card (AAA or roadside assistance)
Here is another post with a list of what to keep in the car glove box.
It is always a good idea to keep the gas tank at least half full at all times, especially in the winter.
On the TODAY show the other day, they did a test drive in the snow and ice and showed how to drive (and not drive) in it.
It is just a few minutes and worth watching!
Au Pairs often find themselves driving the kids around to activities. Be sure to know the rules of the road in order to be safe and avoid getting a fine. The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. You should slow down and prepare to stop the car.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.
- It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended. Vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway. Failure to stop can result in high fines which the au pair has to pay, not the host family.
If you are like me, you probably have napkins and straws from fast food restaurants and other assorted items in your glove box in the car. It can be a nifty storage place, but it’s main purpose is to keep some important documents related to the car.
It is very important that you keep all of the necessary documents in the car glove box. These items will be necessaryif you are stopped by a police officer or have an auto accident. Not having these items can result in your receiving a ticket (citation) from a police officer.
*Some host parents may tell you to carry these in your wallet instead of keeping them in the car. Follow their instructions.
- Tire Pressure Gauge
- Vehicle Owner’s Manual
- Map or GPS
- Tissues and Hand Sanitizer
- First Aid Kit
In Your Wallet
Carry your Maryland license or country driver’s license and international driver’s permit with you at all times, especially when you are driving. You should leave your passport and Social Security Card and other documents at home, to reduce the risk of losing them
Winter Driving Tips
You are likely to find ice and snow on the roads in many parts of the country. There are some basic rules to remember to stay safe in the car in difficult driving conditions:
- Start early and take your time.
- Accelerate slowly, especially on hills
- Drive slowly to avoid having to stop while going up a hill, as it will be hard to start again.
- Don’t make any sudden turns or stops.
- Be sure that the mirrors and windows are always free of snow and ice.
- If you skid, try to steer in the direction the car is sliding to regain control.
- The changes in temperature sometimes cause potholes in the streets. If you don’t see the pothole in time to steer around it, apply the brakes before hitting the pothole and release them just before you reach the pothole. If you keep the brake on as you hit the pothole, it will do more damage to the tire.
- Try to keep your gas tank at least half full.
- If your wheels spin on ice, switch to low gear, even on automatics.
- Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
- Remember that bridges and exit ramps are icier than roads.
- Ask what kind of brakes your car has and how to use them in case of a skid.
Wet Weather Driving Tips (from www.nyAAA.com)
- Summer rainstorms can quickly reduce visibility and create dangerous driving conditions.
- In stormy conditions, it is more difficult to see other vehicles, road signs and the road itself. It is critical that motorists take steps so they can see and be seen.
- Drivers should regularly clean their windshield and windows, on both the inside and outside. Drivers who smoke should take extra care to make sure their interior windows are clear of a buildup of smoke residue.
- AAA also suggests that motorists regularly check that headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are working properly.
- As soon as rain begins, AAA recommends drivers turn on headlights and windshield wipers. Many states require headlights to be turned on when it is raining or if the visibility is reduced to less than 500 feet.
- When visibility is so limited that the edges of the road or other vehicles cannot be seen at a safe distance, it is time to pull over and wait for the rain to ease up. It is best to stop at a rest area or other protected location. If the roadside is your only option, AAA recommends pulling off as far as possible, preferably past the end of a guardrail. Keep headlights on and turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers.
- In addition to reducing visibility, rain creates slippery roads that require motorists to use extra caution. AAA suggests that when driving in rain, motorists slow down and increase the distance between vehicles to compensate for reduced tire traction.