BOSTON (TheStreet) -- You won't freeze to death if your car breaks down during a summer driving vacation the way you might in winter, but other dangers abound -- so here are some key emergency items to carry on your trip.
"A severe breakdown during the summer can be an inconvenience at the very least, and a risk to your life at the worst," says Mike Calkins, an ASE-certified master auto technician and national technical-services manager for AAA. He says that while you won't get stuck in a snowbank or skid on ice this time of year, hot summer weather can do a number on plenty of your car's systems, from the radiator to the tires.
"If you take a car with underinflated tires, load it up with family members and all of the stuff that you take on vacation and drive it on hot pavement in high temperatures, the tires can easily overheat and blow out," Calkins says. "That's not something you tend to see in the winter."
Read on for a look at a few things that the expert recommends everyone take on driving vacations this summer in case of emergencies, along with tips for where to buy them and approximately how much to pay.
Cellphone, car charger and a spare battery
"A cellphone is your No. 1 line of defense today if your car breaks down," says Calkins, who recommends preprograming your phone with the number of a roadside repair service such as AAA's (800-AAA-HELP).