Many of you have probably experienced the pains of being broken down on the side of the road or with a vehicle that just won’t cooperate. That can be a stressful situation but there are some things you can do to help ease the stress. We’ve compiled a list of ten items that everyone should carry in their vehicle that don’t take up a ton of space to help alleviate a stressful situation.
- Spare Tire and Equipment One of the most important items to keep in your car is a spare tire and the necessary tools to be able to change it. Tools needed to carry out this task would include items such as a tire jack, lug wrench, and a tire iron. If you aren’t familiar with how to change the tire yourself, we recommend keeping the name and number of a towing company handy in the vehicle so you can easily call for help.
- Jumper cables A dead car battery can happen at any time. Having a set of jumper cables in your car can help get you back on the road quicker. There are also portable jumper cables with batteries built in that do not require having another car present. This can help save you more time and give you more peace of mind if you’re stuck in an area without a lot of other vehicles around.
- Tire Pressure Gauge Keeping your tires properly inflated can not only help reduce the chance of a flat or punctured tire, but also can help increase your cars fuel consumption and efficiency. A tire pressure gauge will help you measure amount of air in your tires so you can ensure sure they’re not over or under inflated.
- Portable Charge rA portable charger can be an incredibly helpful tool if you find yourself in a vehicle without power and a dying phone battery. In case of emergency it can help to keep your phone charged so you can be reached, or call for help. External battery chargers can also be value on road trips, particularly if you’re camping along the way, where you may not have access to an external power source to recharge your electronics.
- First Aid Kit A first aid kit is one of the most important items to carry in your car. You never know when you are going to come across a situation that requires medical attention. The quicker first aid is applied the safer the situation will be.
- Blanket A blanket can help keep your passengers more comfortable on long drives but also can help keep you warm and safe should you stuck in your car overnight. If you happen to find yourself at the scene of an accident a blanket can also be used to help treat shock or other injuries. If you don’t want to keep a full sized blanket in the car, an emergency blanket can be used instead.
- Road Flares/ Reflective Triangles Road flares or reflective triangles can help alert traffic of your broken down vehicle and help keep everyone safer. Road flares and reflective triangles give an earlier warning to drivers to give them more time to prepare and slow down, and make you more visible if you’re broken down at night.
- Ice Scraper/ Snow Brush Especially for areas that see colder weather during the winter, having an ice scraper can help defrost your car and get you on your way quicker. Also, make sure to wipe off the snow on the top of your car as it can become a hazard to those driving around you. As the car heats up the bottom layers hardens and the snow will come sliding either off the back of your car into the traffic behind you or right on top of your windshield.
- Flashlight A flashlight can be useful in many situations. It can be used to help change a tire at night or help alert traffic if you’re broken down on the side of the road. Don’t forget to also pack extra batteries!
- Emergency Escape Tools
Items like an emergency seatbelt cutter and window breaker can be a lifesaver in critical situations. Keeping these within arm’s reach, like in your glove box, can help save a life. A multi tool can also be useful in various situations as they are versatile.