The last thing you want to happen when driving on a long trip is to break down. However, it can happen, so you should plan for it. Part of that planning is to know what to do. There are some supplies you can keep in your car, but the main thing is to have an idea of how to behave when your car breaks down. It's a stressful event, but as long as you know what to do, you will be alright.

Let's first take a look at supplies you should always have in your car.

Supplies You Should Have In The Car

Some people recommend a big list of items, including blankets, flares, and even emergency food. While that is a good idea if you are driving through the desert, or some other remote place, it's not necessary for most people.

If you drive on well-traveled roads, then you only need a few things:

Jumper Cables

These are essential. If your battery dies and someone stops to give you a jump, it's good to have a set of jumper cables. Even if the person who stops has a pair of cables, they might not be in good shape. Keep the cables in a container in your trunk.


This is another essential item. If you break down at night, then you will need the flashlight. You should get a small flashlight and keep it in the glove box.

Cell Phone

This is the last essential item. Keep a fully-charged cell phone in your glove box. You will need this to call for an emergency tow service. If you don't have a phone, you will have to wait for a Good Samaritan to stop. If it's at night, then you might be waiting a long time. There are highway patrols that will eventually see you, but it might be a while.

There are also emergency phones on many highways, but you don't want to walk along the highway, especially at night.

What You Should Do When You Break Down

The first thing to do is pull over to the shoulder. You want to make sure you are not in the way of traffic. You should put on your hazard lights.

You should not get out of your car unless you have a flat tire and are capable of changing it yourself.

Once you are safely out of the way, you should call a tow service such as Elden Dattage Towing & Auto Repair. On many highways, you can contact the police and they will direct your call to a tow service that has contracted to deal with the highway.