A car emergency can happen anytime, anywhere. Whether it’s a traffic accident or just a roadside breakdown, the right preparation can make all the difference. 

It’s for that reason that every vehicle should contain an emergency kit. Below is a list of essential items to keep in your car’s emergency kit to keep you, your passengers, and your vehicle safe on the road.  

Items for Car Maintenance

Not every issue with your car should leave you stranded on the side of the road. There are a few things you can include in your car’s emergency kit that can at least get you back home or to a mechanic’s shop for assistance. These include:

  • Gas can
  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire and jack
  • Flat tire inflation canister
  • Emergency car battery charger
  • Motor oil
  • Coolant/antifreeze
  • Towing strap or chain
  • Basic tool kit

Items for Inclement Weather

Inclement weather plays a big role in a number of emergencies, and the following items can come in handy when driving conditions are at their worst:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Prepaid cell phone
  • Weather band radio
  • Collapsible shovel
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Blankets and warm clothing
  • Rain gear and umbrella
  • Ice scraper 

Items for Driver and Passenger Safety

An emergency situation can present danger to anyone in the car. Make sure to include the following items in your vehicle emergency kit to keep everyone safe until help arrives:

  • Car escape tool, including seatbelt cutter and window breaker
  • Roadside flares or glowsticks or reflective triangle
  • First aid kit
  • Car fire extinguisher
  • White cloth, towel or shirt

What to do in an emergency

If your car breaks down or you are involved in an accident or other roadside emergency, remember the following tips:


  1. Get off the road. Pull your vehicle off the road and away from traffic, and walk to a safe location while you await help.
  2. Make your vehicle visible. Turn on your hazard lights and place flares or a reflective triangle behind the vehicle to alert other drivers of its presence. 
  3. Signal your intentions. Hanging a shirt or cloth in the door of your car signals to the police that you have sought help and intend to return to the vehicle. This will help prevent your car from being towed or ticketed.

Car Emergency? Call on Matthews Motors 

If you experience a mechanical emergency, call on Matthews Motors in Clayton, North Carolina, for help. Our dedicated service team will get you back on the road in no time. And to reduce the chances of a breakdown, take advantage of our service specials to keep up with your preventive maintenance schedule and keep your car running like new. 

No car emergency is too big for Matthews Motors. Schedule your appointment online or stop by our location on Highway 70 West in Clayton today.