A Human-sized Stuffed Toy Monkey or Jumper Cables? Is Your Trunk Roadside Emergency Ready?

New State Farm® survey reveals drivers have junk in their trunk instead of all essential emergency supplies.

AURORA, ON, Jan. 8, 2014 /CNW/ - Nearly all Canadian drivers could improve what is in their trunk to be better prepared for roadside emergencies. A new survey by State Farm and KRC Research shows that almost two-thirds of drivers (61%) have some sort of "junk" in their trunk like used food containers, clothes and toys (including a large toy monkey and blow-up carnival hammer). Getting rid of the "junk" (items that are not emergency supplies) and adding the proper roadside emergency tools will help Canadians manage unexpected car trouble and get safely back on the road.

Nearly all Canadian drivers (97%) indicate that they currently have at least one type of emergency supply in their vehicle but less than 1 in 10 (4%) indicate they have all of the essential safety items. The most common emergency supplies that Canadians currently have in their trunk are a spare tire (81%), windshield scraper and brush (75%) and jumper cables (53%). However, the majority of Canadians are less inclined to carry other essential emergency items such as a flashlight (45%), first aid kit (43%), blankets or extra clothing (41%), water (22%) and road flares (17%).

"Even on a relatively short trip, you can find yourself stranded for several hours. Whether it's because of a flat tire, an empty fuel tank or treacherous conditions like ice or fog, it's important to be prepared," said John Nepomuceno, auto safety research administrator from State Farm. "These new findings highlight the importance of having the right emergency equipment so you can safely get back on the road sooner."

Drivers Need to Check Emergency Car Supplies

Only 34% of drivers with emergency supplies check to make sure the supplies in their vehicle are in working condition at least twice a year or more, the recommended frequency. Over a third of drivers (35%) have never checked to see if their emergency supplies are in working condition.

Who Has the Most "Junk?"

The survey also revealed that parents (68%), younger (69%) and middle-aged (64%) drivers were significantly more likely to have "junk" in their trunk, than non-parents (58%) and older drivers (55%), respectively.

Trunk Essentials

State Farm encourages responsible driving every day of the year, and especially during cold weather months when inclement weather is more common. If driving conditions turn treacherous and leave you stranded, these emergency roadside items can help you stay safe until help arrives.

  • Hazard triangle (with reflectors) or road flares
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Spare tire
  • Blankets and extra warm clothing
  • Cell phone and charger
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Road salt or cat litter to help with tire traction
  • Brightly coloured distress sign or "Help" or "Call Police" flag
  • Candle/matches, lighter, and/or flashlight
  • Tarp for sitting or kneeling in the snow for exterior work like a tire change

"Ensuring that the roadside emergency equipment in your vehicle works properly is often overlooked," Nepomuceno says. "In fact, according to the State Farm survey, a majority of drivers with emergency car supplies are putting themselves at risk by failing to regularly check that their equipment is working properly. The only thing worse than getting a flat tire is finding out that your spare is also flat."

For additional information and emergency roadside tips, visit

Media Contact

John Bordignon
State Farm Canada


The study was an online survey designed and conducted by KRC Research on behalf of State Farm from October 25 to November 3, 2013. In all, 1,050 drivers among a demographically representative Canadian sample of adults 18 years of age and older were surveyed. All respondents were required to have a valid Canadian driver's licence to participate in the survey. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About State Farm

State Farm has been serving Canadians since 1938. State Farm and its affiliates are the fourth largest auto insurance provider, and the seventh largest property and casualty insurer in Canada. In addition to providing affordable car insurance rates, State Farm has more than 525 Canadian agents and 1300 employees providing insurance and financial services including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to our customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, please visit statefarm®, join us on Facebook, folllow us on Twitter, or see us on YouTube.

About KRC Research

KRC Research is a full-service research firm that specializes in the kind of research needed for effective communications—communications that reach, engage and persuade. A unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), KRC Research offers the quality and custom service of a small firm along with the reach of a global organization. For over 30 years, KRC Research has worked on behalf of corporations, governments, not-for-profits and the communications firms that represent them. Staffed with market research professionals from the worlds of political campaigns, consumer marketing, journalism and academia, we are flexible, practical, creative, knowledgeable and fast, combining sophisticated research tools with real-world communications experience. For more information, visit