Truck Driver Emergency Kit: 12 Items in Case of Disaster

All kinds of emergencies can occur when you’re a truck driver. Be prepared by having an emergency kit on the ready so you can take care of yourself is something occurs.


Jacob Lee
November 29, 2022
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A truck driver emergency kit is one essential that every driver should have while they’re out on the road. The U.S. is a big country and you never what types of emergencies you’ll be faced with during your travels. Having a kit ready in case something goes wrong will allow you to take care of yourself until help arrives. 

Truck driver emergency kits need to have essential items that can help you out in a variety of situations. Be sure to include these items in your survival kit:

  • Cell phone charger
  • Pepper spray
  • Emergency blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Safety vest

We’ll discuss each item your truck driver emergency kit should have and how each item will be able to help you when you’re in an emergency situation.

1. Cell Phone Charger

The first and most important item that you can include in your truck emergency kit is a cell phone charger. While a cell phone charger is an essential item that you’ll be using on the job anyways, it’s important to have a spare in your emergency kit just in case. 

Your phone will be the first tool you’ll use to let law enforcement or first responders know that you’re in danger. Therefore, you should always make sure your phone battery is in the higher percent range. 

2. Cash and a Nationally Accepted Credit Card

Losing your wallet is a pretty serious emergency, especially when you’re a truck driver who’s a long way from home. In case this happens, it’s good to have cash stowed away and a nationally accepted credit card that’s only to be used in emergency situations. Cash and a spare credit card will give you the opportunity to buy any essentials you need. 

3. Pepper Spray

A persons hand activating a can of pepper spray

Pepper spray is a great and easy-to-use self-defense item. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re being attacked by an assailant, pepper spray will stop them in their tracks momentarily. This will allow you enough time to escape the deadly situation and get to safety. 

There are a few other benefits to using pepper spray such as:

  • Easy to conceal
  • Easy to access
  • Cost efficient
  • Can be used multiple times
  • Can be used against multiple attackers

Another benefit of pepper spray is that it’s legal in all states. That said, different states have varying regulations regarding the size of pepper spray and what type of spray is allowed used. Make sure that the spray you have is legal in the state(s) you’re traveling through. 

Getting multiple spray bottles that conform to specific states’ regulations is also an option you can explore. 

4. Emergency Blanket

Emergency blankets are another great item to have, especially when you’re driving in extremely cold temperatures. If you’re truck breaks down in a snowy environment and you lose access to warm air, your safety and health will be put at risk. 

These blankets are typically made of some type of metalized material on the inside. This allows the blanket to reflect body heat which keeps the user warm. You’ll likely encounter cold temperatures driving through mountainous terrain, so check out our article on truck driving tips for mountain roads. 

5. Swiss Army Knife

A Swiss army knife with all of it's tools extended

A Swiss army knife is another useful item to include in your emergency kit as well. Besides a sharp blade, a Swiss army knife comes with many other tools that will be able to help you in an emergency situation. 

Some of the tools that are on a swiss army knife that will come in handy are:

  • Tweezers
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Regular screwdrivers
  • Awl 

The many tools that come attached to a Swiss army knife have a variety of applications that you might find useful based on the emergency situation that you’re in. 

6. Flares

Road flares can come in real handy if the emergency situation you find yourself in is in an isolated area. In fact, the Department of Transportation (DOT) even requires truckers to have flares in their vehicle. Within Title 49 of the Federal Code Of Regulations (CFR), there are specific guidelines on the types of flares that DOT expects you to have in your truck.  

DOT requires you to have at least one of the following amounts of flares:

  • 6 fuse flares
  • 3 liquid-burning flares

These flares will let any oncoming drivers know that your truck is stopped. Flares will help law enforcement and first responders know where you’re at as well. 

7. Medkit

An open medkit with multiple supplies inside

An emergency kit wouldn’t be complete without a medkit (first aid kit) included in it. Your first aid kit will be the first thing you use to patch yourself up if you sustain an injury. The items that you have in your first aid kit will help you manage your wound until first responders are able to reach you and begin treating your wounds. 

We included a first aid kit in our list of 35 truck driver essentials. Be sure to look into that article if you need to fill your truck with some other important items that can help you on the road. 

8. Artificial Light Source

If you find yourself in an emergency situation that occurs at night, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the dark. Therefore, you should make sure that you have some type of artificial light source that you can use to navigate in the dark. 

Some artificial light sources you can use are:

  • Flashlight
  • Electric lantern
  • Emergency light stick

Either option is viable so long as your chosen device can illuminate your surroundings well enough for you to see in the dark. 

9. Warning Flags and Cones

While you might think it’s pretty easy for oncoming traffic to see a broken-down semi-truck on the side of the road, careless drivers have still managed to hit them. Therefore, using warning flags and cones is an essential way to communicate to other drivers on the road that your truck isn’t operational. 

10. Safety Vest

A truck driver wearing an orange safety vest

A safety vest is one item that you should always have on when you pull over on the side of the road. Even during the day, the fluorescent colors of safety vests will make you stand out to oncoming drivers. If an emergency like a blown motor or flat tire puts your vehicle on the side of the road, then you should put your safety vest on when you get out of your truck to inspect the problem. 

There are three types of safety vests that you can get:

  • Class 1
  • Class 2
  • Class 3

As a truck driver, you should obtain Class 2 and 3 vests due to them having higher visibility compared to Class 1 vests.  

11. Food and Water

Every truck driver has food and water in their truck while they’re out on the road. That said, it’s good to have some set aside for more emergency purposes. If you’re ever stranded out in the middle of nowhere and the food you packed has already been depleted, your emergency supply will hold you over.  

Some food and water options you can include in your emergency kit are:

  • Protein bars
  • Beef jerky
  • Health chip assortments
  • A jug holding a gallon of water
  • Water bottles

When you become stranded out in the middle of nowhere, your driver survival becomes your first priority. With these supplies at ready, you’ll be able to stay fairly comfortable until help arrives. 

12. Hand Sanitizer

A truck driver pouring hand sanitizer into the palm of there hand

There are many emergency situations that can cause you to get your hands dirty. Having some hand sanitizer ready will let you rid your hands of germs. Hand sanitizer is even good to use throughout your day on the job. 

Along with a safety kit, you should also have the skills needed to be a truck driver.

Grab Your Truck Driver Emergency Kit and Experience A Trucking Career Like No Other With ABCO

If you’re ready to take your trucking career to the next level, then apply with ABCO. Our trucking company values the work of its drivers. We offer competitive pay, great benefits, and the free stays at exclusive company resorts.

This will allow you to have plenty of time at home to recuperate and de-stress after a long time on the open road. Lastly, our benefits package will provide you with access to the medical care you need to stay healthy. Complete your ABCO application or contact us today at (866) 980-2710 to start your journey with a company that cares about you. 

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