Collision Kit Checklist: Things EVERY Driver Should Keep in Their Car

Miley Legal Group

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having a vehicle break down on the side of the road, you no doubt know that having the right tools – either for repair or simple comfort – can make a world of difference.  Similarly, after a crash, it is necessary to record the damage – a task that, without the right supplies, can bring undue stress to an already stressful circumstance.  In West Virginia, we are lucky to usually have a neighbor or other good samaritan who will come to our aid.  But we aren’t always so lucky, and sometimes we have to rely on ourselves and our own repertoire of skills and equipment to alleviate a sticky situation. That’s why The Miley Legal Group has put together a check list of such supplies, so that no matter if your automobile emergency occurs in the summer or winter, snow or shine, you know you will be ready to face it.

Collision Kit:

This small kit can be kept in a pouch and will be tremendously valuable for recording insurance information, license plate numbers, names, and phone numbers in the event of an accident; some of the items included may even save your life.  Keep it in the center console or the glove compartment, and include the following:

  • laminated list of emergency contacts
  • laminated list of medications and allergies
  • window-punch/seat belt cutter tool
  • notepad
  • pen/mechanical pencil
  • disposable camera (not necessary if your phone take pictures)
  • measuring tape
  • proof of insurance
  • registration
  • Snack Pack

If you become stranded for any length of time, you may find yourself facing physically and mentally strenuous conditions – changing tires, tinkering with the engine, or even shoveling snow.  For these activities, you will require not only energy and hydration, but comfort as well to keep a level head when making decisions.  Many companies offer high-calorie food bars made specifically for emergency situations; however, there are plenty of foods you can pick up at the grocery store that will more than meet your needs, at a fraction of the cost.  Consider some of these items when packing your reserve of snacks:

  • water
  • nuts
  • protein/fitness bars
  • granola bars
  • chocolate
  • hard candies
  • Repair/Maintenance

The selection of repair items you should keep depends largely on your own knowledge and mechanical skills, but there are a few items that can prove to be universally handy, such as the following:

  • vehicle owner’s manual
  • tire change kit (spare tire, jack, wrench)
  • tire inflator and sealer (such as Fix-a-Flat)
  • jumper cables
  • basic tool kit
  • duct tape
  • tow rope

Other Items

In addition to the kits listed above, you should keep these assorted items in your vehicle in case of an emergency:

  • flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • map (the state you are in)
  • first-aid kit
  • blanket/s
  • change of clothes
  • poncho
  • lighter/matches
  • carpet remnant (for traction in mud, ice, or snow)
  • foldable shovel

If space is a limitation, look into options that combine items and try experimenting with different storage containers and ways of packing; most of the supplies listed should take up very little room given careful packing.  Remember that consumables, including water, must be switched out occasionally to maintain freshness – between two and four times a year is best.  It should also be noted that varying climates, health conditions, and vehicles will necessitate different tools and resources, so it’s important that you tailor the emergency items in your car to reflect your family’s specific needs.  We all hope never to need the back-up supplies we pack in our cars, but should the time come that you find yourself in an accident or stuck in a broken-down vehicle, we hope that this basic list will serve you well.