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Is Your Car Safety Kit Ready for Long Weekend Travel?

Car safety kit
Photo: iStockphoto

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays of the year. Leaves are turning, you can get the cozy sweaters out of storage and everything at the coffee shop is pumpkin-flavoured.

The Thanksgiving long weekend is prime time for travel here in Canada - whether you're heading across town or over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. It's also a time when weather can be unpredictable.

Before you head out for Thanksgiving weekend, take a few minutes to make sure you've packed your car safety kit so that you're prepared for whatever conditions the road may throw at you.

Your car safety kit should contain the following items:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning light, road flares or reflective warning triangles
  • First aid kit
  • Drinking water
  • Nonperishable food - energy bars, for example
  • Blankets and warm clothing (hats, mittens)
  • Candle in a deep can and matches
  • Wind–up flashlight
  • Whistle - in case you need to attract attention
  • Maps
  • Gloves
  • Clean rags
  • Rain poncho
  • Tire gauge
  • Foam tire sealant - a quick way to repair flats without having to change the tire
  • Jack and lug wrench - for when you have to change the tire
  • Collapsible shovel
  • Salt, sand or non-clumping cat litter - helpful for getting out of a ditch
  • Windshield scraper and snowbrush
  • Antifreeze/windshield washer fluid
  • Jumper cables
  • Duct tape - always useful!
  • Tow rope
  • Your auto-club card or roadside assistance number

You can buy pre-packed car safety kits that will contain many of these items and then supplement with your own. Traveling with pets? Make sure to include food and water for them too. And while you shouldn't talk on your cellphone while driving, you should have it with you, and fully charged, in case of emergency.

The Government of Canada's Get Prepared website offers a checklist that you can print out and check off car safety items as you gather them.

From all of us here at PumpTalk to our readers - have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

- Rose R.


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John Forte

Excellent suggestions for car safety kit, very well done and most important.

John F

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