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What should you have in your emergency car kit?

Accidents always happen; it’s what makes us human. Knowing this, we should always prepare and be ready for when the “oops” and “what ifs” come. As humans we are already bound to make mistakes, now can you imagine the chances of an accident happening when we operate a machine built of 30,000 parts. Even if we drove perfectly and made 0 mistakes, there are still times when machines break down or have an error.

If you’re in the middle of Toronto or any big city, that’s great – you could get help ASAP. But what if you’re on a highway in the middle of nowhere? What do you do then? Even if the chances of an emergency happening are very low, it’s still better to be safe than sorry. To help you get a better idea as to how dangerous these oil-powered (some electric) machines are, I’ll give you some solid stats that will 100% make you think twice before getting behind the wheel.

Safety Statistics

To cut the irrelevant stuff, I’ll give you a direct list right here of all the dangerous driving stats in Canada.

  • Canada experiences 150,000-160,000 accidents each year and almost 3,000 fatalities
  • A 10 mph (16.1km/h) speed increase will heighten the chance of an accident by 9.1%
  • 27% of fatalities are due to speeding.
  • Nearly 30% of Canadians have admitted to disobeying road signs or crossing a red light.
  • Over 45,000 collisions with wildlife happen every year in Canada.
  • During winter, accidents can increase by 3% to almost 5% while insurance claims increase by almost 50%. Even if you don’t care, your wallet definitely will.
  • It could take up to 10 times longer to completely stop on snow and ice than on pavement.
  • Distraction was a contributing factor in 21% of collisions resulting in death and 27% of collisions resulting in serious injury.
  • More than 90% of road crashes are due to human error.
  • 5 lives are saved for every 1% increase in seat belt usage.

Most importantly, having any type of distraction or doing something else could drastically increase the chance of an accident. Anything from:

  • eating,
  • writing,
  • texting,
  • chatting,
  • changing the radio,
  • setting up a GPS, and
  • fatigue

could all put you at risk of an accident. Basically, you have to be in your absolute best state to be able to drive properly and safely.

Even then:

  • What if something pops your tire?
  • What if your engine breaks down?
  • What if you get stuck in a snowstorm?
  • What if another car drives into you?

Now that we know how dangerous driving could really be and why we should also have an emergency kit in our cars, let’s talk about what items should actually be in the kit.

Emergency Kit

  • Jumper cables (used to jumpstart a car),
  • folding shovel,
  • tire sealer/inflator,
  • ice scraper,
  • blankets,
  • winter hat and gloves,
  • candle and waterproof matches,
  • first-aid kit,
  • flashlights and extra batteries,
  • whistle,
  • paper towels,
  • duct tape,
  • pen and paper,
  • energy bars or non-perishable food items,
  • bottled water,
  • road map,
  • fire extinguisher,
  • dry sand,
  • warning signs,
  • fully charged cell phone,
  • phone charger,
  • container that will store these items and keep them dry,
  • antifreeze,
  • extra money/change,
  • tow rope, and
  • hand/feet warmer

are all items you should have in your emergency kit.

This may seem like a lot of extra and not useful stuff, but if you actually get stranded in the wilderness, all these items could be your lifesaver. If you don’t want to build your own, you could always visit your local Home Depot or Canadian Tire. They usually have prebuilt kits that are ready for use right away. Either way, if you are going on a long trip, always keep a kit in your kit. You never know what might happen, always safety first.

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