Couple putting their dog in the back of an SUV with go bags

Car Safety

Plan long trips carefully and listen to the radio or television for up-to-date weather forecasts and road conditions. In bad weather drive only if absolutely necessary.

Emergency Kit for the Car

In case you are stranded, keep an emergency supply kit in your car with these automobile extras:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Ice scraper
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Blanket
  • Map
  • Cat litter or sand (for better tire traction)

Prepare Your Car for Emergencies

Have a mechanic check the following on your car before an emergency:

  • Antifreeze levels
  • Battery and ignition system
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel and air filters
  • Heater and defroster
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights
  • Oil
  • Thermostat
  • Windshield wiper equipment and washer fluid level

Car Safety Tips

  • Keep your gas tank full in case of evacuation or power outages. A full tank will also keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Install good winter tires and make sure they have enough tread, or any chains or studs required in your local area.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control or possibly stall. A foot of water will float many cars.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock. Stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • If it becomes hard to control the car, pull over, stop the car and set the parking brake.
  • If the emergency could affect the stability of the roadway avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards.

Last Updated: 04/21/2020