You basically take your life into your (and the other driver’s) hands anytime you get in the car and go somewhere. While it’s generally safe, you never know for sure. While you can’t necessarily prevent an accident, you can be prepared for getting stranded, hurt or lost by stocking your car with a few essentials. It only takes up a bit of space in the trunk or cargo area and you’ll feel a whole lot safer anytime you drive.
1. A Couple Bottles of Water That Haven’t Expired Yet
You might find yourself changing the bottles out more often than you ever need them, but better safe than sorry, right? If you get stranded because your car breaks down or the weather leaves you stuck somewhere, you are going to want something to drink while you wait for rescue. If they get close to the expiration date, switch them.
2. An Auto Break Tool Will Fit Right in Your Glovebox
This handy little tool is for breaking windows from the inside. If you slide off the road into a lake or river and you need to get out fast, all you have to do is whack the window so you can escape. I’ve had one of these in my car since I turned 16 and got my license and have never had to use it. But I like knowing it’s there.
3. A Universal Cell Phone Charger
This should be a separate one than you have in the house and should always stay in the car. That way you can call for help anytime you need to, no matter what’s happening. It never fails, when you need to call for help, your cell phone dies. Eliminate the problem by making sure you always have your charger on hand.
4. Jumper Cables in Case You Get a Dead Battery
This can happen anywhere and having your own pair of jumper cables means you are set to fix the problem with the help of a kind person who lets you use their car. It’s more likely that you’ll find someone who’s willing to give you a jump than you are finding someone who has jumper cables. Plus, you’ll be able to help someone else if you need to.
5. Some Non-Perishable Snacks so You Don’t Starve
You can go a pretty long time without food, but would you really want to? Put a small bag of granola bars, raisins, crackers and dried fruit in your glovebox. Each of these snacks has just the right amount of protein and carbs to keep you going if you get stranded or your car breaks down and you have to wait for help to arrive.
6. A Collapsible Shovel in Case You Need to Dig out
I once came around a corner and my car slid off the road into a snowbank and I had to walk home and get a shovel, then walk all the way back and dig out. Not long after that I threw a collapsible shovel in my trunk, just in case. Of course, I’ve never had to use it, but it’s there if I need it. This item won’t take up a ton of room, but it sure comes in handy if you get stuck in the snow or mud.
7. A Stocked First Aid Kit
This becomes especially important if you have kids. Anytime you’re out and about, you or someone else could get injured. Having a basic first aid kit in your car means that you are prepared to fix up minor cuts and scrapes or disinfect an injury if you need to. Just make sure you restock it as necessary.
What emergency items do you keep in your car? I hope this list saves you some trouble down the road.