Many thanks to State Farm® for working with us to bring you these emergency safety travel tips.
I like to call it “December’s Law.” If something can happen in the weeks before Christmas to cost you a ton of money, it probably will. In my case, it was December 4th and it involved a large chunk of rock that fell into the road on my dark, rainy commute home. In the span of a few seconds, I made the decision not to swerve and not to straddle it, which resulted in my hitting it with both passenger side tires, popping them both and demolishing both wheels. I’m very thankful the kids weren’t in the car and that it wasn’t worse, but oh, the stress and expense. Just ugh.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t my first rodeo with unexpected road hazards. As a 135-mile/day commuter, I’m here to share a few things I’ve learned over the years and a handful of key items I have finally packed in my trunk for such occasions (in addition to a standard road safety kit, of course, including flares, jumper cables, flashlight, spare tire kit, etc.).
6 Things to Put in Your Trunk Right Now
- A notebook and a pen. On the first page, write a “note to self,” and include all of the relevant phone numbers you might need in case of emergency. Maybe even a few small words of encouragement to yourself. You might have your phone with you, but I realized quickly during my emergency how hard it is to navigate on a small screen when your mind is frazzled, and how difficult it is to use your phone to track down numbers and services while you’re talking on it!
- Copies of your insurance card, and emergency services (like AAA or other supplemental policies.) Sure, you might have these in your glove box or wallet, but those things get moved around and/or buried. It will never hurt to have a copy stashed with the rest of your emergency supplies, just so your numbers are handy and accessible when it may be dark out.
As well as having a copy of your insurance at hand, for people who aren’t as informed about being on the road as some, why not recommend they look through a road safety publication so they become more aware of the rules of the road.
- A bag of trail mix, snack bar, pack of gum, even a protein gel (the kind runners use). I was stranded for 3 hours, and I can’t tell you how much happier I would have been with a snack.. Stash a big bottle of water, too, for good measure, and make sure to switch it out every so often.
- A roll of TP or a box of tissues. Like I said, THREE HOURS.
- A $20 bill. Or a five-spot. Whatever you can spare, really. Believe it or not, there are still places (especially in Central PA) where cash is king and cards are not accepted.
- A big blanket. Wrap all the supplies in the blanket and put it in your trunk. In an open cargo area, make sure the blanket and supplies are packed in a canvas bag or a box with a lid, and secured. It gets COLD out there, kids. Plus, blankets = comfort. It’s a favor you’ll be glad you did for yourself.
Chances are, if you’re a mom like me, you probably have a lot of things in your car: wipes, toys, extra sweatshirts, lots of wayward crackers… But when you’re busy making sure everyone else has what they need for daily life, it’s easy to forget about the must-haves you might need in the case of an unexpected emergency. Go pack those car safety essentials!
An Added Measure of Protection
As we all know, the unexpected happens – but State Farm is working hard to keep those emergencies to a minimum. In addition to offering Emergency Road Service Coverage to those insured through them, State Farm has teamed up with state transportation agencies to promote highway safety nationwide. This initiative is called Assist Patrol, and it benefits everyone (even those who are not State Farm customers) by dispatching fleets of Assist Patrol vehicles to patrol highways looking for crashes, debris, and motorists in need, and providing help as needed.
It’s smart to take precautions and prepare for whatever may come our way, but isn’t it nice to know that State Farm is #HereToHelp, too?
If you’re one of my local PA readers, you’re in luck! In our state, the program is called the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission State Farm Safety Patrol. They’ll be on the PA Turnpike throughout the upcoming heavy traffic season, helping all drivers stay safer.
Assist Patrol is available in 15 states – visit State Farm online to see if your state is on the list!
This post was sponsored by State Farm.