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  1. #1

    Default Breakdown/emergency gear

    Just as a matter of interest, are there any US laws regarding what must be in your car in case of emergency, in-car first aid kits, high visibility jackets, break-down triangles, etc? If so, must all car rental companies supply these, or is it up to you to check and supply if missing? If you get pulled over, can you be done for not having for instance a warning triangle in your "trunk"?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default No

    Very generally, no state requires you to have more equipment in your car than comes standard with it, and not even that. For example, you are not required to have a spare tire, even though that comes standard with the car, nor a jack to change it with. You may be required to show that the car is safe to operate, i.e. the tires aren't bald, the gas tank doesn't leak, the brakes work, and so forth. But that's it.


  3. #3


    Thanks, AZBuck. Good to know the health and safety crowd haven't gone mad over there yet. It's probably just a matter of time. For example, in France and other parts of Europe (and likely to spread to all corners), you must have a hi-viz jacket and a breakdown triangle and first aid kits and snow tyres and advised but not compulsory (implying at some point, they will become compulsory)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Well, some states do have snow tire/chain laws when conditions warrant.

  5. #5

    Default Sounds good to me

    I have to say I like the idea of requiring some elementary safety gear in a car, while finding it distasteful for any government entity telling me to do much of anything. If we could collectively focus more on driver education, folks would see the need and provide for themselves, I think.

    I carry a wide, wide variety of tire patching materials, spare parts, fluids, tools, and manuals in my truck, and I don't think I could sleep at night without knowing it's all on board. Likely as a result of being prepared, I haven't had a breakdown in many, many years. Knock wood.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default And if i COULD clone myself...

    One of the ideas we've had for some time would be to offer three different RoadTrip Go Kits that would have the essentials of what we think should be in ever roadtripper's car/truck/etc. Costco would probably sell it, our manufacturer is standing by and one of these days, I'll get it designed, created and launched. The three levels would be based upon the interest level of the purchaser, ideally so that a road tripper on a fly-and-drive could take their rental car to the nearest big box retailer, purchase a Go-Kit and hit the road, knowing that the basics are covered.

    I'd work on it today, except........I have about 25 hours of stuff yet to do today.

    And as a reminder to everyone -- this thread is a good one for the collective stuff to carry on a road trip!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default My basic needs

    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    ... must have a hi-viz jacket and a breakdown triangle ...
    These are compulsory for commercial vehicles here. I have never heard of any requirements for private vehicles. Of course, chains are compulsory at certain times in the alps.

    As for me, my car has a spare tyre and jack, and that's it (not that I have any idea as to how to use them - LOL). However, when it comes to safety, I always carry lots of drinking water, snacks, a small stove (to boil water) with fuel and a space blanket. I figure if I break down and need to wait for help, I will have something to eat, can always make a cuppa and the space blanket will keep me from dying from exposure. Oh, and I carry a basic first aid kid. But that is so old, it is probably out of date.

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