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Sleighful of 'Safety': Make Family Travel Safer this Holiday Season

    BALTIMORE--Dec. 10, 2002--Pat Goss, master technician on PBS's weekly automotive magazine MotorWeek, suggests giving the gift of "safety" this holiday season to family members and friends.
    "Road flares and booster cables aren't something we think about until we need them," said Pat Goss, "but having them when we need them is what's important."
    With more families traveling by car, especially during the holiday season, the opportunity for breakdowns increases.
    "No one is immune to car problems. Most drivers are so busy keeping up with their 'daily routine' they disregard the importance of buying safety items for the car. While easy to understand, it's a big mistake. After all, the sole purpose of a safety kit is to prepare for a problem that hasn't even happened -- yet!"
    Drivers on your list, including new teenage drivers, busy moms, commuting collegians, retired travelers, and business executives - anyone who gets behind the wheel and on the road - will benefit from a trunk kit that could keep them out of harm's way.

    Emergency trunk kit items include:

-- Flashlight with extra batteries
-- Jumper cables (preferably the cigarette-lighter-to-cigarette-lighter variety)
-- First aid kit
-- Pocket knife
-- Multipurpose tool
-- Ice scraper
-- Lock de-icer
-- Thermal blanket
-- Warm gloves
-- Brightly colored cloth for flag
-- Reflector vest
-- Road flares
-- Mechanics wire for tying up a loose or dragging car part

    In addition to the emergency trunk kit, drivers should always have a nearly full tank of gas, a good spare tire and jack, and should carry a cell phone with a cigarette lighter adapter, if possible. Families, colleagues or friends can pool resources and give the entire kit, including a sturdy box to hold the items. Another natural for the holiday gift-giving season is membership in an auto club.
    Long after the glitter wears off other gifts, a "trunk full of safety" will last throughout the year.
    For more helpful tips, watch MotorWeek, the nation's original and longest-running automotive magazine show, on PBS and the Speed Channel, or visit MotorWeek online at
    Produced by Maryland Public Television, MotorWeek is nationally underwritten by Pep Boys and eBay Motors.