First aid supplies are a lifesaver in any situation, and when you’re dealing with the potential motor vehicle accidents that can happen on the road, even more so.

Having a car first aid kit not only delivers great peace of mind but it means you’re ready to handle any of the common car-related injuries that can occur.

What’s in a car first aid kit? A basic car first aid kit should have supplies like bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, and burn aid, as well as protective gear like a reflective vest and sign to make you more visible to traffic.

From there, you can choose to add more if you need, and might prefer to make a first aid kit more specific to your vehicle, whether it’s a truck, motorcycle, or car.

With a fully equipped first aid kit in your boot, you’ll be prepared to treat whatever comes your way and potentially prevent anything further from going wrong.

Whether you want to build your own or buy one that’s already assembled for you, there’s no longer any excuse not to equip your vehicle with a first aid kit.

Why Do You Need a Car First Aid Kit?

Why Do You Need a Car First Aid Kit?

The act of driving is fraught with the potential for so many things to go wrong and it requires quick thinking and even faster action.

A first aid kit is the most important tool you can have to help you in these types of situations so you can be sure you’re able to quickly and effectively treat injuries and provide care.

According to the RAC Foundation, there were 153,18 casualties of road accidents in 2019, and this varies from minor to severe injuries.

These figures only represent what was reported to police as well, and don’t mention the smaller accidents and injuries that can be treated without the help of paramedics.

Although we can’t do anything to prevent accidents, other than practice safe and responsible driving, we can be prepared for whatever might go wrong.

A car first aid kit is designed specifically to treat the common accidents and injuries that occur in a motor vehicle and on the road, so you will always be prepared.

These kits are used to treat basic injuries and minor problems, so if you need to call for help, it’s always recommended to do so.

Although it’s good to be ready to deal with issues yourself, trying to treat a serious injury or incident without medical knowledge will likely only lead to trouble.

Essential First Aid Items

Packing a first aid kit is all about being prepared for a medical emergency and when you’re dealing with a car-specific kit, you need to think about what’s needed on the road.

If you’re assembling a first aid kit designed to meet the needs of the most common motor vehicle incidents, these are some recommendations you might want to consider.

  • Bandages: You’ll want a good assortment of bandages in your first aid kit to treat anything. This includes a basic array of band-aids as well as larger, fabric bandages that can be wrapped type but are still stretchy.
  • Antiseptic wipes: An antiseptic wipe or spray can be used when you get a cut and will keep the area clean. You might like to wipe with some of these before applying a bandage.
  • Antibiotic ointment: Antibiotic ointment is slightly different and can be added to a wound to prevent bacteria growth, which usually leads to infection. This can be put on before you apply a bandage and after it’s been wiped with an antiseptic solution.
  • Cold pack: An instant cold pack can be cracked to provide immediate relief until you’re able to get further treatment.
  • Burn treatment: Burns are a common injury on the road and having a soothing burn aid treatment to apply for minor incidents will be a huge benefit.
  • Rubber gloves: A sterile pair of gloves will enable you to work safely and hygienically during any type of treatment.
  • Tweezers: With a pair of tweezers, you can pull out shards of glass, splinters, insect stingers, and anything else that might be stuck and preventing you from operating the vehicle.
  • Medical tape: Medical grade tape can help to fasten down bandages and hold things in place, so make sure you have a roll ready in your first aid kit.
  • Gauze pads: An assortment of sterile gauze pads can be used to hygienically treata wound or injury. These pads are kept in a sealed packet until needed to keep them sterile.
  • Bite treatment: If you’ve been stung by an insect while driving, having quick access to a bite treatment can be a huge help.
  • Tooth preservation kit: As gruesome as it may sound, the chance of losing a tooth in an accident is pretty high. Having a tooth preservation kit just in case the worst should happen will allow you to preserve your tooth unit you can see the dentist and make sure you don’t lose anything unnecessarily.
  • Safety gear: A hi-vis vest should be worn whenever stepping out of your car to treat an injury so you can be seen by others. A reflective sign or triangle can be placed next to the car to help with visibility also.
  • Cotton balls and swabs: A few cotton balls and cotton swabs kept in a sealed packet will enable you to apply ointment and treatment to an injury without the risk of infection.

First Aid Skills Every Driver Needs

First Aid Skills Every Driver Needs

The goal of having a first aid kit is being able to provide medical attention when something goes wrong, but it doesn’t mean working outside of your scope or trying to treat serious and life-threatening injuries.

That being said, there are some skills everyone should have that will enable them to use the supplies in their kit effectively:

  • Wound dressing
  • Burn treatment
  • Cleaning a wound
  • CPR
  • Heimlich manoeuvre
  • Supporting a sprain
  • Stopping bleeding
  • Treating bites

With each of these, you’ll be able to treat an issue as it happens or help that person remain stable until help arrives.

Although you hope to never have to use these skills in a real-life situation, just knowing that you’re capable of performing them will make you calm and collected if the worst should happen.

Options for Upskilling in First Aid

Options for Upskilling in First Aid

There’s nothing more valuable than knowing how to provide basic first aid in an emergency or medical situation, but it’s not a skill that everyone has.

If you’re thinking of upskilling in this important area, there are a few options out there:

  • Online courses: These days there are lots of options for learning online, including taking a quick first aid course, and many free resources available as well.
  • First aid classes: There are likely loads of first aid classes available in your local area and it may help you remember what’s taught if you learn it in person. A quick search online will point you towards the most reputable ones.
  • Books and guides: Choose a trustworthy book on first aid and make a point to study it. If you feel more comfortable, you can keep the guide in your car and refer to it as needed, but remember that it might not always be this easy to access it.

What to Look for in a Ready-Made First Aid Kit

What to Look for in a Ready-Made First Aid Kit

If you’d rather not assemble your own first aid kit, there are lots of options out there for ones that are already made.

Here are a few things you’ll need to consider when choosing a car first aid kit:

  • Contents: A first aid kit can be as basic or advanced as you want, so make sure you choose one with the right contents. If you’d rather, you can choose one with just a few items and add the others you want.
  • Packaging: Look for a first aid kit that will hold up in the extreme temperatures your car faces and one that prevents water and moisture from getting in.
  • Car suitability: Choosing a first aid kit made specifically for cars is likely to be a better option as it will feature the items you’re most likely to use in case of a motor vehicle accident.
  • Price: The cost of a first aid kit can vary dramatically depending on its contents and quality. While it might be tempting to go the cheapest route, you’re better off choosing at least a mid-range option with supplies that will actually work when you need them.

Where to Keep Your Car First Aid Kit

Where to Keep Your Car First Aid Kit

The contents of a first aid kit are important but it’s also crucial to store it in the right place. Firstly, you’ll need the right type of box to keep it in and something that protects against the weather.

A waterproof box is a smart idea and will prevent moisture from getting in, as well as protect the contents from heat.

The best place to keep a first aid kit is in the glove box, as this gives you easy access to it or anyone else who’s in the car and needs it.

Although it can be tempting to throw it into the boot where there’s more space, it’s not always the most convenient place if you want something that’s in arm’s reach.

Along with your first aid kit, it’s a smart idea to have some other information close by that can help people out if you need to be rescued or treated.

This includes medical consent forms, contact information for your doctor, and any medical history or information about you and your family that an outsider might need to know.

A Safe Driving Accessory

A responsible driver does whatever they can to stay safe on the road and that includes being prepared for the worst.

With one of these first aid kits on you at all times, while you drive, you’ll be able to treat the most common motor vehicle-related injuries no matter what happens and feel peace of mind that you’re ready for anything.

Related Questions

A car first aid kit is a smart investment for anyone who takes road safety seriously, and it helps you quickly treat a problem before it gets out of hand.

To learn more about ways you can drive more safely on the road, we’ve got the answers to some commonly asked questions that will help you do just that.

Do First Aid Kits Expire?

Do First Aid Kits Expire?

Some items in a first aid kit may have an expiry date and should be replaced as often as recommended.

Other items, like sterile dressings and bandages, will stay good for as long as they are left sealed, so not all items in your car first aid kit have to be replaced when you’re cleaning them out.

Can You Leave a First Aid Kit in the Car?

The extreme temperatures that cars sometimes encounter can spoil certain contents of a first aid kit prematurely, but in general, it’s okay to leave them in the car.

The purpose of having one in the car at all times is so you can treat accidents and incidents that occur while you’re driving, so you want it to be available whenever.

How Long Does a First Aid Kit Last?

The average expiry date of a first aid kit is around five years from when it was packaged.

To establish when your first aid kit will expire, you should be able to find this date printed somewhere on the box or packaging. Keep in mind though, some items can be kept and transferred to a new box as they don’t expire.


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