Car journeys can easily turn into a nightmare due to weather conditions, breakdowns, or simply failure to plan, but drivers who prepare by keeping useful items in the car will fare better than those who fail to take such scenarios into account.

Richard Gladman, IAM Roadsmart‘s head of driving and riding standards, has identified the eight items driver must always keep handy in their vehicle in order to be as prepared as possible for difficult situations on the road.

Eight essentials to prepare for a breakdown

While most road safety advice surrounds avoiding looking at or using phones while motoring, Mr Gladman explains it’s still vital to keep one in the vehicle, along with a charger in case it ruins out of juice during an emergency.

Mr Gladman also advises drivers to keep a first aid kit in their boot: this could come in handy for yourself or other motorists in case of an accident.

An empty fuel can is incredibly useful should you run out of petrol, the expert noted. However, it’s essential that this can is completely empty: any fuel remaining in the bottom of the can is a fire hazard.

With unforgiving British winters, breaking down in this country can often be a chilly affair – especially if the breakdown is due to ice or snow.

He suggests keeping some warm clothes and blankets in your car to ensure you won’t be shivering while already having to endure an annoying breakdown situation. He also recommends packing a high vis vest for maneuvering around your car when broken down, and a pair of comfortable shoes for if you end up needing to walk for help.

A lunch box filled with non-perishable snacks will ensure you don’t go hungry and can keep your energy up in case you’re waiting a while for help.

What else? Mr Gladman states that drivers must keep a reflective warning triangle in their boot – an regularly-overlooked section of the highway code.

Finally, jump leads are a must, according to the expert: car batteries can go flat at any time, and this handy tool allows motorists to start their engine with help from another vehicle.

To avoid breakdowns, drivers must keep a regular check on their vehicles to make sure they are roadworthy.

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “While it might not be enjoyable to consider what you do if – for one reason or another – you end up broken down, road safety is of the utmost importance. Follow Mr Gladman’s suggestions to ensure you’re prepared should disaster strike.”

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