While you never want to be caught in a break down or accident, it is inevitable that these situations will arise when driving your car. Whether you are in the middle of downtown or in the middle of nowhere, having a car kit in your vehicle can ease a lot of the anxiety of a breakdown. Keep these 10 things in your car at all times and you’ll follow the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared”!
1. A fully charged phone or a car charger. The first thing you’re going to want to do in an accident or breakdown is make a phone call. Keep a cheap prepaid phone with minutes on it stored in the car for emergency situations, or just make sure that you have a charger on hand in case your phone needs a charge.
2. A first aid kit. Many first aid kits come fully stocked, but it should include bandages, gauze, painkillers, antiseptic and an analgesic of some kind. Make sure to check this every few months, just in case it is running low on any one particular item.
3. A blanket or extra clothes. In case you are trapped in cold weather or in case an accident happens and someone is in shock, having a blanket in the trunk could be a lifesaver.
4. Reflective warning triangles. These are standard warning signs to any vehicles, especially if you are in a place with no defined shoulder to pull off to, to warn other drivers that you are stopped ahead. The highway safety website recommends a minimum of three triangles, but at least one will benefit you in the long run.
5. Flashlight and extra batteries. Ideally the flashlight should be water-proof. Again, check this every few months to make sure it is still functional.
6. Jumper cables. This should go without saying, but they should be in every car.
7. Multi-tool. These tools contain knives, screwdrivers, hammers, and several other tools for every situation. These can mean the difference between life and death in certain scenarios such as if you are trapped in a seatbelt or your car is going underwater.
8. Snacks and water. At least a water bottle or two and some protein bars just in case you are stranded in the middle of nowhere.
9. Gas can. It is not recommended that you store gasoline in your car, but if you have a spare gas can, most gas stations no longer keep loaners on site due to fire safety regulations.
10. Duct tape. It is the universal fix-it solution for a reason. If you need a quick fix just to get you home, or you can purchase the reflective variety as a warning to other drivers of your car’s location in the dark.
There are a multitude of other items you may want to consider having on hand depending on where you travel and the time of year, such as tow ropes or chains, tire pressure gauges, ice scrapers, and a set of gloves, but just the ten items above will put you miles above the rest and ready to handle whatever comes your way.