Whether you own a rust bucket with 200,000 miles on it or a shiny new car that is equipped with all of the latest technology, you take a gamble every time you drive in New York City. Auto accidents and other emergencies happen all of the time. You need to prepare for it.

The best way to prepare for an emergency is to properly stock it. Here, we suggest that you keep this short list of basic items in your car at all times:

  • Proof of insurance – Make sure that your insurance card is up-to-date and in force. If your policy has lapsed, the card is worth nothing. Create a way to remind yourself to check your glove box regularly to make sure that you carry a valid form of insurance.
  • Vehicle registration – The same goes for your registration. Make sure that any applicable tags or stickers are up-to-date and effective, or else you are in violation of New York law and subject to a ticket.
  • Camera – Yes, most people have cameras built into their phones now. But what if your phone is busted in an accident? What if the cell phone battery is dead? It doesn’t hurt to pick up a disposable camera and toss it in the glovebox. If you are in a crash, you will want to take lots of pictures at the scene.
  • Cell phone charger (or portable single-use charger) – While it’s obviously good to have a cell phone charger in your car, your car could be disabled in a crash. You could be sitting in your car for hours, waiting for police to arrive, complete their investigation and complete paperwork. You will want to stay connected. You can get a small one-time use portable charger for about $3 to $5 online.
  • Small notepad and pen/pencil – In case of an accident, you will want something you can use to jot down information. For instance, the police may give you information that you want to note, or you may need to write down a witness’s phone number and name.
  • Tire-changing kit – You don’t want to be on the road without a lug wrench, tire jack and spare tire in your vehicle. To change your tire, you will need to pull over to the side of the road. So, you should include flares in your tire-changing kit as well. (Check the expiration date and, generally, do not use a flare that is more than three years old.)
  • First aid kit – If anyone in your car suffers injuries in a crash or gets hurt while you change a tire or handle other mechanical issues, you will want a first aid kit on hand. At a minimum, the kit should have bandages, disinfectant, bottled water and aspirin.
  • Food, water and blankets – If your car breaks down, it may be a long time until a tow truck, family or friends arrive. You should have supplies to stay hydrated, nourished and warm as you wait for help.

Our NYC Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You

If you are seriously hurt in a car accident anywhere in New York City, you should get immediate medical attention. You should also call an experienced NYC auto accident attorney who will work with you and seek compensation for your injuries. Don’t trust the insurance company to look out for your interests. Contact Zlotolow & Associates, P.C. Our team has fought to protect the rights of injured New Yorkers for more than two decades. We will put our talented attorneys and staff to work for you today.