Saturday, 11 December 2021

Top 6 Items You Should Keep In Your Family Car

Going on long car journeys with the children in tow has always been something that causes a fair bit of anxiety for me, and a rather unpleasant experience we had last month has now cemented that fear deep into the core of my being!

While on our way to board a Disney cruise, we were driving along one of the Smart motorways on the outskirts of London. It was around 10 pm, and so it was very dark out - the weather wasn't great, and we were all looking forward to arriving at our hotel for the evening and settling down to sleep.

We were about an hour away from our destination when suddenly there was a strange sound from outside the car, and all of a sudden we felt a lot of rumbling - we'd blown a tyre!

Now a blown out tyre isn't usually a huge problem to fix, but it really couldn't have happened at a worse time or in a worse place. We were in the middle lane when it happened and managed to pull over to the left hand lane but then it dawned on us that we were on a smart motorway so there was no hard shoulder and therefore really no safe place to stop!

From there on in, panic ensued -  My partner couldn't safely remove and change the tyre where we were and so we needed to be moved to somewhere safer, I called the AA immediately but had quite a difficult time getting through to someone who could assist us, and meanwhile we were sitting in the car with the hazard lights on as cars and huge trucks whizzed past us at terrifying speed - it felt very unsafe, the children were crying loudly - to put it mildly, it was chaos!

We decided the safest thing to do was to get out of the car, but this was easier said than done and was quite a scary experience in itself - we were pulled right in to the side of the road and there was a barrier against the door so trying to get all 5 of us out was a nightmare but we couldn't risk getting out on the side of the traffic of course.

Once we'd clambered over the barrier, we still found ourselves feeling very unsafe - the area where we'd stopped was on a steep incline and there was only a few foot of space with nowhere to move to either in front or behind us - the AA advised us to move away from the vehicle but it was impossible as every time we tried to get the kids up the incline they would slip back down toward the road.

So there we stood, in the dark and the rain on the side of a dangerous in a very precarious position for almost 2 hours until we were finally rescued - safe to say that a new fear of smart motorways has been well and truly activated in all of us!

Aside from shopping around for good car leasing deals  in the hope that a newer car will give us fewer problems on long journeys, I've spent some time researching things that we're going to ensure we have going forwards incase we find ourselves in any difficult roadside situations again in the future.

First Aid Kit

I always kept a First Aid Kit in the car as a matter of course, but on this evening I soon realised that I hadn't done a very good job of keeping it stocked up as when my son scraped his leg on the rough roadside where we were standing - I tried to get hold of an antiseptic wipe and a plaster from the glove box to comfort him, but found that we had run out.

One of the first things I did when we got home was stock up the first aid kit, as you just never know when you're going to need it.

Extra Phone Charger

Another major cause of concern on that evening was that my partner's mobile phone battery had run out, and mine was running low on charge - we didn't have a portable charger with us and I was so worried about my battery dying which would mean the rescue vehicle had no way of contacting us and we would have had no way to call for help.

We now make sure to keep a fully charged portable charger in the car at all times.

Jump Leads

This one seems obvious, and it is one that we've made sure to have for a while but that was only after having an experience a few years back where we ended up stranded with a flat battery - I bought jump leads as soon as that happened, and now we always make sure we have them with us. 

Reflective Vest

On this evening, we were told that rescue  service who came to assist us where not able to help in replacing the tyre due to covid regulations and so my partner would have to do it himself - although they did move us to a quieter stretch of the road and lay out cones to alert the traffic, it was very unnerving to see him having to stand right in the motorway to change the tyre.

I wished we'd had a reflective vest to hand, and I will always make sure we don't leave home without one in future.

Waterproof Blankets 

Standing at the side of the motorway in the rain for 2 hours with 3 small children was a big lesson in the fact that coats alone are not enough for an emergency! I have made sure that we now have waterproof blankets in the car incase we find ourselves in that situation again.

Emergency Snacks & Water

Although it wouldn't have helped in that situation, there have been occasions during long journeys where my parents have found themselves stranded on the motorway at night for many hours - you just never know when you might find yourself caught in the aftermath of an accident that renders you stuck on the motorway for very long periods of time, so having long-life snacks and bottles of water in the car is crucial for any long journey.

I feel much more prepared for potential problems on car journeys knowing that our car is fully stocked up, I just wish we'd been more prepared sooner!

If you enjoy my blog, please consider following me on Bloglovin'
Blogger Template by pipdig