Staying safe on the road goes beyond simply using your turn signals and keeping your eyes off your phone. Preventing accidents and incidents is obviously paramount, but preparing for them is important as well. Part of that means having the equipment necessary should you get into an accident or have your car break down.
Having to stop by the side of the road is never ideal, but it’s even worse at night when other motorists might not be able to see your car. That’s where the best road flares can come in handy. If you ever drive through dark highways, having road flares can be a literal lifesaver. In the event that you have to stop by the side of the highway, road flares will alert other drivers to your presence. That way, other drivers will exercise caution and slow down. Flares can also help emergency services find you more quickly.
When you hear “road flares” you might imagine long tubes that use some sort of chemical explosive to produce light. Many of the best ones don’t use any pyrotechnics at all. Rather, they’re disc-shaped and made of plastic; instead of being combustible, they emit ultra-bright LED lights. There are a few advantages to using LEDs instead of traditional road flares. For one thing, using LEDs eliminates the risk of accidentally causing a wildfire. Also, while traditional road flares typically last 15-30 minutes, LED lights can last around 30 hours on standard AAA batteries.
For all these reasons, electric road flares have almost totally replaced the chemical flares we grew up with. But no matter what type of roadside flare you prefer, all that matters is that you keep some in your trunk at all times. Hopefully, you won’t need to use them, but these are the best road flares to get just in case.
1. HOKENA LED Road Flares
The HOKENA LED Road Flares kit includes three disc-flares that can be placed behind, in front of and next to your car in an emergency. They’re magnetic, so you can attach also them to your car, putting the light in the line of sight for other drivers. The kit comes with bonus items like a zippered storage bag, a thermal blanket and a multi-tool for breaking windows and cutting seatbelts. You can set the lights to flashing for additional visibility.
Pros: The kit comes in a zippered bag for secure storage in your car.
Cons: The kit is more expensive than similar products.
2. SlimK 3 Pack LED Road Flares
The SlimK 3 Pack LED Road Flares emergency kit includes three magnetic flares. The set includes a duffle-style storage bag, making it easy to transport and store the items in the kit together. There are nine different lighting modes, including steady, flashing, and SOS Morse code blinking. Each flare requires three AAA batteries, which are included with the kit.
Pros: The strong magnets on the flares to attach to a car, ensuring that other drivers can see the lights.
Cons: The storage bag is larger than flares, so the lights can move around in the bag and may get damaged.
3. Stonepoint Emergency LED Road Flare Kit
The Stonepoint Emergency LED Road Flare Kit includes three bright red LED lights to help users during emergency roadside stops. Stonepoint designs their flares as singular lights, rather than discs with multiple lights on them. The kit comes in a zippered storage bag with a carrying handle. Like the other options, the lights have a magnetic base for attaching to your car. There’s a flashing mode and a steady mode, and the lights have up to 60-hours of runtime on flashing mode.
Pros: The flares in this kit have a long battery life and compact design.
Cons: Batteries are not included.
4. Tobfit 12 Pack LED Road Flares
The powerful flares included in this kit feature a magnetic back that can be attached directly to the vehicle. A rubber guard around the flares provides shock absorption and a waterproof seal means the lights will keep working even in inclement weather. Nine flash modes enable users to easily choose the best light for their situation. The lights can be seen up to one mile away at night and cast 360 degrees of light. Each flair includes a small hook that allows users to easily attach the light to the inside of the hood of their car.
Pros: The Tobfit flares feature high-intensity white LED lights and outer Amber LED lights that allow the flare to double as a flashlight.
Cons: Each flare requires three AAA batteries, which are not included.
5. Magnatek Smart Accessories Emergency Roadside Flares
For a freestanding flare that can be seen up to 3,000 feet away at night or 1,000 feet away during the day, we recommend the Magnatek Smart Accessories Emergency Roadside Flares. The flares come detachable, with stable bases that provide a sturdy bottom even in windy conditions. The set of two flares features super bright LED lights that can be set to three different lighting modes. The lights can be stored in a durable, weatherproof case and come with batteries included.
Pros: The Magnatek flares can be used with their freestanding base or they can be attached to cars thanks to their built-in magnets.
Cons: Because of their large size, the Magnatek set takes up more room in cars than other, smaller flares on our list.
6. Garage Monkey Engineering LED Road Safety Flare
Don’t let car troubles leave you in the dark. Thanks to the four bright flares included in the Garage Monkey Engineering LED Road Safety kit, users have the option of either adhering the flares to the side of their vehicle thanks to their magnetic backing or using the sturdy hook on each flair to hang the light from under the hood of the car, providing ample illumination while performing minor fixes. The flares don’t give off heat and are easy to use by simply holding down a button to turn them on and off. The flares are waterproof and float.
Pros: Garage Monkey includes a free set of disposable gloves in each kit to help users protect their hands while installing their flares.
Cons: Garage Monkey does not include the three AAA batteries required to power each flare.
7. Promondi Rescue Beacon Disc Pack
If you have more than one vehicle, you need more than one set of safety flares. We recommend the Promondi Rescue Beacon Disc Pack, which sells its comprehensive vehicle safety kit in single and double (shown here) sets. Each set includes a four-pack of emergency flares, which are made with hooks and magnetic backs, as well as a full set of batteries for every flare, a survival tool that can be used to break a car window or cut a seat belt, nitrile-coated work gloves and a durable duffel bag to store all the contents of the kit. Each flare included features 15 super bright LED lights, including 12 amber and three white lights, and can be set to one of nine lighting modes.
Pros: The magnetic LED lights included in the Promondi set are crushproof, shatterproof and waterproof.
Cons: The kits don’t come with a screwdriver, which is necessary in order to open the flares and install the batteries.