Top Eight Safety Items to Keep in Your Car

Cars have evolved significantly over the decades. Most modern vehicles have systems to warn us about traditional roadside emergencies like a flat tire or faulty battery. They also have mechanisms that prevent car lockouts. Despite these, car emergencies still happen. The best you can do is equip yourself to handle them when they arise. Having the right emergency supplies is the first step toward staying ready. It will give you the peace of mind to go on your road trips without worrying too much about what could go wrong. 

Here are our top eight picks on the safety items you should always have in your car.

Spare Tire Kit

Flat tires are a prominent roadside hassle. In America, they occur at least once every seven seconds, resulting in 220 million flat tires yearly. That constitutes approximately 20% of the country’s roadside emergencies. Interestingly, many new cars today do not come with a spare tire. Some manufacturers exclude it to cut weight and cost, among other reasons. If your vehicle does not have run-flat tires, it is critical to always have a spare wheel kit with you.

The kit should include a spare tire, a car jack, a socket wrench, and a lubricant such as WD-40 to loosen stuck lug nuts faster. It helps if you know how to change tires yourself. However, even if you don’t, having this kit in your trunk will make it easier for a passerby or fellow motorist to help if they stop and offer help.

Portable Car Battery Recharge System

Your car batteries are not designed to last forever. The distance you drive, the number of times you start your car, your alternator’s health, and the heat conditions all affect its lifespan. On average, you’ll need to get your ride a new battery every three or four years. Present-day cars have dashboard lights shaped like car batteries that warn you when your battery is not charging correctly. Unfortunately, many motorists don’t know what to do when these lights come on. They call their mechanic or keep driving to their next stop. 

If your car refuses to start due to a battery problem, a quick jump start is usually enough to fire it up. With jumper cables, you can flag down any passing vehicle to help you jump-start your van. But that’s assuming you’re not in the middle of nowhere and people are willing to stop. It’s much easier to have a portable car battery recharge system with jumper cables and a battery cell. It allows you to jump-start your ride yourself and drive to your destination as you plan on replacing your battery. 

Glass Breaker

Car systems are known to malfunction after accidents. Your seatbelts could get jammed, trapping you inside an overturned or burning car. If you are alone in the vehicle, the only way to get out would be to slash the seatbelts using a sharp edge. You could get a seatbelt cutter as a separate tool, but many glass breakers come with a blade to help you rip out your seatbelt.  

Once you’re free of the seatbelt, you must find your way out. If your systems are dysfunctional, you might not be able to unlock your doors or roll down your windows. If the car is submerged in water, pushing the door open is practically impossible due to the water pressure. With a glass breaker, one good hit would shatter your window, allowing you to exit your car and get to safety. 

Warning Devices 

Accidents occur every day due to speeding, drunk driving, or even animals. On average, the US records about 6,000,000 car crashes annually. Besides accidents, you may suffer a mechanical breakdown or get a flat tire, forcing you to pull over or stop in the middle of the road. If these happen at night or on a bend, a speeding vehicle could easily ram into your car, causing further damage and potentially hurting you. 

In addition to your blinking hazard lights, you should always have roadside flares and reflective triangles to alert oncoming traffic of your predicament. You can place one of the three triangles 10 feet behind your car, another 100 feet behind it, and the last 10 feet in front of the automobile for extra safety. These could save your life and that of other motorists. 

Portable Phone Charger

When you are on the road, you rely on your phone for a lot of things. If you don’t know the directions to the slot tournament you’re excited to attend, a contact or your phone’s Google Maps will guide you. If you or any occupant of your car gets hurt in an accident, your phone will help you reach first responders and hail a tow truck. Also, if you need a mechanic to sort out a mechanical issue, you need to be able to call them. Whenever you travel or drive, having a portable cellphone charger to keep your phone powered is critical, especially if you’re alone. You never know when you might need to reach an emergency contact. 

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit will help you treat minor injuries and manage major ones while waiting for medics or an ambulance to arrive. That can stop bleeding and mitigate the impacts of your injuries. If you or your passengers have any medical condition, you could customize your kit to include other essentials like inhalers and drugs specific to that condition. It could also have sunscreen and bug repellants. 

Strive to get familiar with the contents of your kit and how to use them effectively. If you find putting together your own gear challenging, you could always purchase standard emergency kits. These often have the emergency supplies you’ll need in most situations. A first aid kit should ideally be within arm’s reach. Store it in the door well, glove compartment, seat pockets, or center console. 

Fire Extinguisher

Car fires are rare, but they happen more often than many imagine. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), at least 200,000 cars catch fire annually. Fume ignition, electrical malfunctions, and flammable fluids igniting are the most common causes of these fires. Due to the nature of car fires, ABC Dry Powder Extinguishers are recommended. A one to two-kilogram unit is often sufficient. It should be fixed inside your vehicle with a bracket to prevent it from moving freely and hitting surfaces that could damage it. This size is light enough for average-sized arms and will help you put out small fires before they cause significant damage. 

Emergency Contact and Essential Medical Information

It always helps to have a list of all your medical conditions, allergies, active medications, and emergency contacts in your car. Although we hope it never happens, we could get involved in accidents that harm us so severely we are unable to communicate verbally. This information will help first responders give us proper care and notify our next of kin of our condition and location. Pin this information on an easy-to-see spot in your car, like the center console. 

Overall, there are plenty of safety supplies you should keep in your car. This list doesn’t cover seasonal supplies, like blankets and extra coats in the winter. Treat this as a starting point and include any other items essential for your and your passengers’ safety.