The freedom we feel as drivers is a feeling that doesn’t get surpassed by much, but with great independence comes great responsibility. In emergency situations, it’s great to have a guide for if your car breaks down but the possibility of getting locked in your vehicle or being in danger isn’t something many of us actually prepare for.
The first thing we all hear is not to panic, and the only way to ensure a calm mind is to know what to do and where to find what we need in an emergency.
How to Utilize What You Already Buy:
The good news is that there are plenty of everyday products you can use to help get out of multiple sticky situations. It can be hard to visualize everyday life and beauty products as someday becoming your saving grace but think outside the box, and you can thank me later.
Do you drive for any food delivery or ride share services? Having a camera in your car can be a great way to not only ensure your safety, but it is also a great self selling point to get lower rates on auto insurance. Mention to your insurance agent that you record your rides, and that footage could help you and your insurance provider deny fault in the case of an accident.
The more tools you have that ensure safe driving and proof that you’re a safe driver the easier you are to prove your case and insure. You can use your cell phone or even find other car accessories with video recording features anywhere from Amazon.com to Walmart.
2. Body Lotion or Oil
Ever see those BOGO or “Buy Two, Get the Third One Free” deals? Take advantage of those and pick one or two bottles of a cheap brand to keep in your car. If you ever find yourself trapped in your car and unable to get your window down, oil-based products are great for loosening a jammed window.
Lotion or any liquid, oil-based beauty product can also be used to help loosen tight bolts in case you need to change a tire or need help pulling a trunk or seat release. Pretty much any kind of lubricant can be helpful in these situations.
Considering that most of these products will never dry out, you’ll be more than happy when you realize the level of safety that simple things can provide.
Be mindful that beauty products are not made to be stored in excessively hot or cold places so the items stored in your vehicle won’t be ideal for skin care use. So if you’re looking for ways to extend your beauty products’ long shelf life, don’t keep it in the car.
If you’re like me, you have plenty of books you don’t ever plan to read on hand. You may not realize it, but those forgotten hardcover books could save your life by more than just the power of the story.
Any hardcover book can make a great car tool addition just by simply using it as a hammer, weapon, or even to help apply pressure to a breaking point of a window, windshield, or door handle.
Common Items that Could Save Your Life:
We often keep a variety of items in our house in case of emergency. Some of those same items can be used if you ever have an emergency while in your car.
A seemingly simple thing to have yet we often forget how useful a flashlight can be. Getting a self-defense flashlight can run anywhere between $20-$200. A flashlight can be used as a weapon to hit an attacker in order to escape, crack a window in the event you get trapped or if your vehicle goes underwater.
And of course, a flashlight can be used to seek help in the event you get stuck at night.
5. Wine Bottle Opener
When hosting a dinner party, it never hurts to have a wine bottle opener handy, but in an emergency situation, a wine bottle opener can be a life-saving tool.
The sharp tip makes an easily accessible weapon or tool for cutting ropes or duct tape. The round hard tops are great for getting better grips for levers in escaping trucks or unlocking a door that has had its manual locks removed.
6. Steel Tools
Everyone should have a small collection of tools, and though steel can be a pricier material, it is worth spending the extra bucks. A steel wrench, screwdriver, hammer, extension bar, or a ratchet are great tools when needing roadside assistance, self-protection, or even escaping your vehicle.
Making sure your tools are made of steel is the most important point to take away here. Although you can find tools made from cheaper materials, aluminum and other metals will not have the same effect on a vehicle’s glass that steel does.
7. Theft Tracker
This may not be commonly found in a kitchen junk drawer, but theft trackers are effective in keeping you, your vehicle, and your possessions safe. If you’re searching to buy one, it pays to do your research — literally.
There are many brands of theft trackers you can easily install to your vehicle, but finding multipurpose models are efficient and harder for criminals to detect.
Criminals look for these kinds of devices which make hidden theft trackers not so secretive when someone is looking to get rid of it. Most brands sell car trackers that look like car cell phone chargers or navigations which means that most criminals completely overlook them.
Not only can a theft tracker help save your investments in transportation and your life, but having one ahead of time can also help you reduce your auto insurance rates. Let your insurance provider know that you drive using a theft tracker and you’ll see discounts applied to your next statement.
A smooth criminal has nothing on a smooth saver.
Things to Avoid Leaving in Your Car:
Just how some unexpected items can be found useful, these items are things that can become dangerous if left in a car.
It may seem like a good idea to keep a lighter handy, but it turns out they can be highly explosive and can cause lots of bodily harm to both you and your car.
If you commonly carry around a lighter, it is best to not take it with you whenever you plan to be driving.
Hairspray can be used as a self-defense item in the off chance of getting attacked or even getting trapped, but hairspray cans fall short of making the “Always Have” list simply because they can’t take the heat.
In high temperatures, hairspray cans become mini bombs that can create the dangerous chaos you’re trying to avoid.
10. Plastic Bottles
No matter how much you’re trying to hydrate, leaving plastic bottles in your car is not healthy or helpful. After being left for too long, chemicals that make up plastic begin to affect whatever is inside of it making water and even healthy drinks or snacks filled with compounds you wouldn’t want to ingest.
Although lotions or oils can be helpful in some scenarios, sunscreen is a liquid beauty product similar to lotion that the CDC (Center of Disease Control) strongly warns against keeping sunscreen in vehicles.
When stored in warm temperatures for long periods of time, sunscreen loses its skin protection potency and doesn’t protect your skin in addition to becoming thick and smelly.
The Goal Is to Ensure Your Safety
There are many ways to become informed about self-defense and car emergency safety plans, but hopefully, this quick guide will help you re-envision some of the items you probably already have laying around the house, or convince you that holding onto those extra dollars when buying safety features may not be so wise.
Finding out where to spend a little more now can save you money monthly as well as potentially save your life.
No one expects to ever be put in danger but part of why many panic in unexpected crises is because the tragedy takes us by surprise, and we aren’t prepared. You don’t need to go big, but we want you to make it home.
So whether you choose to follow every tip or just a few, taking proactive safety measures helps you in more ways than one.
Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, USInsuranceAgents.com. To Danielle, nothing is more important than ensuring practical safety measures. She hopes these tips help others to stay safe in unconventional ways.