A ROAD journey can be a pleasant experience with the right planning.

But it can turn into a nightmare if circumstances change and you do not have the right tools for the job with you. Do you carry these eight essential items in your car?

1 Phone and charger: turn your mobile to silent and place it in the glove box to avoid temptation to use it while driving. Remember a charger for any emergencies.

2 First aid kit: you never know when you might need a first aid kit yourself or to help another road user if you’re the first on the scene at an accident. So, keep one in the boot of your car just in case.

3 Empty fuel can: do not carry a full or partially full one as this can be a fire hazard if it’s recently had fuel in. Flammable vapour may still be present.

4 Warm clothes/blanket/hi-vis: the last thing you want is to be cold while broken down on the side of the road. Ensure you wear a hi-vis jacket while manoeuvring around your vehicle so you can be seen.

5 Food and drink: don’t forget snacks and always carry a bottle of water.

6 Jump leads: your car battery can go flat at any time. Make sure you keep a set of jump leads handy so you can start your engine with help from another vehicle.

7 Sensible shoes: this may sound silly but you never know when or where you’re going to break down and may need to assess your car in typical English weather.

8 Warning triangle: in accordance with Highway Code rule 274 you should “put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road or use other permitted warning devices if you have them”.

Richard Gladman

Head of driving and riding standards,

IAM RoadSmart