How to Prepare for a Roadside Emergency

It is a typical day. You are driving down Interstate 5 on your way back from work one evening when suddenly, something feels off. The steering wheel feels funny between your hands and the car begins to vibrate in a strange fashion. You find a safe location to pull over on the side of the road, only to realize your tire is going flat. What do you do?

Flat tires and other roadside mishaps aren’t all that uncommon, but preparing before you ever get behind the wheel can help alleviate the stress and potential dangers of a roadside emergency. The first step to help ensure your safety and get back on the road quickly is to secure a 24/7 roadside assistance program, like the one offered by Metromile that helps when you’re locked out, have a flat tire, or need a tow.

In addition, assembling a roadside emergency kit to keep in your car at all times means that you have the right tools at your fingertips to stay safe and get back on the road sooner, rather than later.

Here is a list of what you will need to prepare your own roadside emergency kit:

  • Jumper Cables – When your car doesn’t start a dead battery is likely the cause and a jumpstart can get you back on the road quickly. Make sure you know the steps to jump-starting a vehicle for safe operation of the equipment.
  • Triangle Reflectors – Safety is of the utmost importance and triangle reflectors help to warn other drivers of your presence on the side of the road in the instance of a breakdown. These warning triangles are collapsible, reducing the amount of space they take up in your car.
  • Spare Tire or Repair Kit – It is important to know if your car comes with a spare tire or a tire repair kit. If your car still has a spare tire, you should check that it is also stocked with a jack and lug wrench, which are necessary to install the spare. Make sure you know where your spare tire or repair kit is located by checking the owner’s manual.
  • Flashlight – A breakdown or other car emergency can occur at any time of the day or night. When it’s dark, a flashlight is crucial to being able to perform any work on your car. Make sure the flashlight has working batteries and even stock an extra pair for safe measure.
  • Tool Kit – The toolkit should include screwdrivers, pliers, and an adjustable wrench. These are all useful in fixing a roadside problem.
  • Ice Scraper – Depending on where you live, this may or may not be necessary, but if you live in a colder climate, it’s a good idea to keep an ice scraper in your vehicle to make sure you have a clear view of your surroundings from inside the car.

Take some time to educate yourself before encountering an actual roadside emergency. Gather supplies and read up on tasks and easy fixes, such as how to change a flat tire, to be better prepared. With proper planning and organization, a roadside assistance program (like Metromile’s optional roadside assistance add-on), an emergency kit will leave you with peace of mind. Learn more about Metromile’s Pay-Per-Mile insurance offering here.

This was a guest blog post contributed by National Dispatch. We rely on our cars daily for our transportation needs. However, in some cases, such as residential moves, corporate moves, and extended vacations, auto shipping is a better solution. National Dispatch is a nationwide auto transport company. Check out more information here: