Study reveals the most important emergency items

January 20, 2014 12:00 AM

Anyone who has ever found themselves stuck on the side of the road has probably been thankful for certain emergency items packed in the back of the car - or they have rued the absence of these important products. A recent study from State Farm Insurance and KRC Research identified the tools that all motorists should have on hand in case of emergencies. While more than two-thirds of drivers have some sort of junk kept in their cars, ranging from children's toys to food or drink containers, not as many stock the auto instruments they may need. 

Drivers are unprepared
Although a whopping 96 percent have at least one of the recommended emergency tools, only 5 percent carried them all. This could prove to be disastrous for drivers, as they may require some of these items if they wind up in need of auto repair during the winter times. 

"Even on a relatively short trip, you can find yourself stranded for several hours," said John Nepomuceno, an auto safety research administrator from State Farm. "Whether it's because of a flat tire, an empty fuel tank or treacherous conditions like ice or fog, it's important to be prepared. These new findings highlight the importance of having the right emergency equipment so you can safely get back on the road sooner." 

Carry the essentials
State Farm advises drivers to carry a few items, including a first-aid kit, a hazard triangle or road flares, jumper cables, a windshield scraper, a spare tire, road salt, a flashlight and a tarp for kneeling when performing basic vehicle maintenance in the snow. The company also recommends stocking up on nonperishable foods and water, as well as a blanket and extra warm clothing, in the event you are stranded for an extended period of time. 

Get rid of junk
While you should be stocking up on the emergency items that you need for the road, you also may need to clear out the possessions cluttering your trunk. The study found that more than half of drivers admit to having nonessential items packed away in their cars. Parents tend to have the most stuff stored around a vehicle, with about 77 percent of drivers in this group admitting to carrying junk. Additionally, younger drivers and middle-aged motorists were more likely to have objects in their cars than older drivers or nonparents. 

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