Some things are just absolute must-haves in your automobile. And no, we’re not talking about a water tumbler here but rather, items that will help you to stay safe on the road. What follows is a rundown of 25 essential every motorist should have in his/her vehicle.
1. User Manual
Let’s say your car gets a slow puncture, for instance. If you’ve never changed a tire before, you might end up getting stuck on the road for hours. But with an owner’s manual, you could be cruising in a couple of minutes. And that’s just a single example of what it means to have a user’s manual in your auto’s glove compartment.
2. Spare Tire
Speaking of punctures, it is almost suicidal to drive around without a spare tire. You can never rule out the fact that your tire may blow off, so you better have an extra one just in case the unexpected happens.
3. Jumper Cables
You certainly don’t want to deal with a dead car battery. Not when you’re in the middle of nowhere. It, therefore, makes perfect sense to toss a pair of jumper cables in your automobile’s trunks to avoid getting caught off guard.
4. A Radar Detector
You don’t have to be a victim of a speeding ticket. All you got to do is to install a radar detector in to get wind of any speed traps before you get booked. By extension, this ensures that you don’t pay more for your insurance premiums.
5. Tire Pressure Gauge
You need to be sure that you’re driving under the correct pressure for better handling, extended fuel economy, durability of your tire. A tire pressure gauge could even save lives.
6. First Aid Kit
Of course, this will come in handy if you or your fellow motorist gets involved in an accident. Attending to the injured could, at the very least, help them survive before medical assistance arrives.
Ask any seasoned motorist and they’ll tell you that you may never know when you’re going to spend the night in your car. At times it could be due to an emergency situation (such as when your vehicle breaks down). A blanket will supply you with the warmth you need to curl up and sleep.
8. An Extra Pair of Phone
Consider keeping an old cellular phone in your gloves compartment? Why? Even without a subscription, you can use it to call 999 or 911. All you need to do is to make sure that you’ve turned it off. You may as well carry an extra, fully charged battery or a power bank just in case your phone runs out of juice.
Make sure that you always have a detailed map of the state that you are in at all times. An atlas could get the job done too. The map will prove priceless when your GPS navigation system malfunctions. Also, keep a pencil and a paper just in case you want to write down some important coordinates.
10. Car Repair Information
Carry your mechanic’s or auto repair shop business card at all time. At times, the owner’s manual isn’t enough to help you get back on the road. Also, keep your AAA number and insurance claim forms in your glove compartment.
These are invaluable at night when you need to change a tire or attend to a mechanical problem. Be sure to choose a rechargeable flashlight or one with a long battery power.
12. High Energy Snacks
You need something to eat during those long road trips. High energy snacks provide a convenient and affordable way to replenish your body until the next stop. You should also carry a bottle of water to quench your thirst.
13. Battery Powered Radio
When the weather dips, you need to keep tabs on what’s happening around you. A battery or crank powered radio is what you need to get all the basic information you need to stay safe on the road.
If you have a slow puncture, fix-a-flat could just be what you need to help get to the nearest repair station. You should keep at least two cans in your trunk.
15. Tire Repair Kit
If you know how to patch a leaking tire, you don’t have to wait to get to the next repair station. A tire repair kit allows you to patch your tire in a couple of minutes. Even if you don’t know how to repair a leaking tire, carry a tire repair kit – other motorists may help you do it.
This will help you loosen bolts, fast. WD-40 is a perfect companion for repair emergencies.
17. Road Flares
You need to alert other motorists that you’re changing a tire or doing some repair on your vehicle. Road flares will prevent other drivers from hitting you, especially at night. A reflective triangle will also serve the purpose.
There are many reasons you need to keep a pair of towels in your car. First of all, you may use them to keep yourself warm at night. They’ll also help you dry off after getting drenched. Other than that, towels are indeed helpful when you want to pull your care out of snow, ice or mud. Just place them under the tires for traction.
19. An Extra Pair of Clothes
You cannot fail to keep a change of clothes in your car. Imagine changing your tire in the rain or snow. Sure, you may use a towel to wipe your body but you’ll have to change your clothes. The last thing that you want is to sit in your vehicle, soaking wet in chilly weather. Other accessories to own include a roll of tissue paper and a hand towel.
20. A Portable Battery Charger
Even with a pair of jumper cables in your car, you still need to carry a portable battery charger. It will help you keep your mobile devices have enough juice to last you the entire journey. All you need to do is to plug the charger into your auto and charge up any of your devices that are running on battery power.
21. An Ice Scraper
While you may not always keep an ice scraper (or a shovel for that matter) in your car, it becomes an indispensable tool during winter. It will allow you to remove snow blocks around the tires when you get stuck. You can also use it remove ice off your windows and windscreen in the morning before you hit the road. Keep an umbrella too, it will help shelter you from the rain when changing tire or doing some repair work.
22. Road Salt
Road salt is also essential during winter. In fact, it will help complement your shovel or ice scraper to get you get out of a sticky situation fast. To use the salt, sprinkle a lot of it near the ice. Get back in your car, cover yourself in a blanket and wait for an hour. Place a carpet or towel under the tires and you’ll pull right out most of the times.
23. A Carpet Remnant
Now that we’ve mention a carpet above, let’s explain why you need one in your vehicle. A carpet remnant could very well be your best bet to pull out of mud or snow. Make sure that you wedge it as best as you can beneath one of your tires and drive in the direction of the carpet. Besides, it can also serve you as a trunk liner.
24. “Emergency Money”
Sure, you may have your debit card in your wallet, but there are times it won’t be of any help. We’re talking about when you need to tip people who’ve just helped you to tow your truck or to pay some other small bills. The trick here is to ensure that the money stays in your car always. If you happen spend the money, make sure that you replenish as soon as possible.
25. Hat, Gloves and Scarf
Again, these will come in handy during cold weather or when you need some extra warmth. Keep a couple of these of other passengers.
The Bottom Line
While these aren’t the only things you should keep in your car, they’re the most essential. As you may have already noticed, these items will primarily help take care of emergency situations. These little nuggets are indeed priceless. And the beauty of it is that they don’t cost much. They won’t take much space either. Besides, as a motorist, you need to be always prepared for any eventualities that may happen while on the road.