Sun | Jun 4, 2023

Every driver’s safety box

Published:Saturday | October 23, 2021 | 12:08 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Contributor
Close-up of a car disc brake with caliper during tyre replacement. Car maintenance.

Every driver needs a safety box, before navigating the Jamaican roads. “Prevention is better than cure,” goes an old adage. As drivers, with regard to the recent lockdown, curfew, limited movement, overcrowded bus stops, rushing motorists and early closure of business places. Therefore, whether we drive a bus, truck, van or motor car, we should carry a safety box, if and when an emergency arises.

This safety box should include the following items:

Item 1: A fire extinguisher. This is an essential emergency accessory. While a fire is rarely a factor in collision, it can still create a lot of damage to persons and property. A cigarette that is carelessly thrown from a car can be drawn back inside by air turbulence, which builds up around the window; or it can enter another vehicle. Motorists should also remember that fire extinguishers can become inoperable and so they require periodic servicing. (Multipurpose dry chemical is best).

Item 2: A working flashlight with strong batteries. Portable electric light or lantern.

Item 3: A Cell phone that is fully charged along with a working charger. And phone credit, if necessary, as communication usually saves lives, time and money.

Item 4: A card clearly labelled with the driver’s blood type. He may be allergic to something or even certain medication, depending on the emergency or the circumstance.

Item 5: An extra bulb or fuse could be useful.

Item 6: First aid for the car, such as screwdrivers, which would include: a set of screw drivers with flat, square. ‘Phillips’ blades, a bottle of motor oil, a pair of pliers, vice grip and an adjustable wrench.

Item 7: Safety red triangles. These can be set up behind a stranded car in a matter of seconds. These effective triangles will reflect the headlights of oncoming traffic from a distance of up to 500 yards. Flashing lights powered by batteries can only do good.

Item 8: A first aid kit could prove very handy. Whether one has to change a tyre or not, there is always the possibility of minor accidents, such as insects bite or cut.

Item 9: Cash can go a far way.

Item 10: On long trips, it is wise to carry a spare fan belt, a piece of radiator hose, distributor cap, rotor and points and condenser, if the car uses these.

Item 11: Tow strap rope or chain and jumper cables.

Item 12: A quart of coolant and bottle of transmission oil and bottle of brake fluid.