Driving comes with many risks. When you least expect it, your whole world could turn upside down. Whether you’re stuck on the side of the road in a snowstorm, have a flat tire, or find yourself in a collision, you need to be prepared at all times. You’re (most likely) not a mechanic, but you don’t need to be if you invest in the right tools. Give yourself time to get home and safety to make it another day with this list of 5 must-have tools you should always have in your car!
1. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is a must-have item for every drivere. In the event of an emergency, a first aid kit will ensure you and your passengers have necessary supplies in case of an injury. First aid kits are inexpensive and easy to store in your trunk or glove box. When stocking your emergency car kit, make sure it’s filled with these items:
- Adhesive bandages of varying sizes
- Pain relief medicine like ibuprofen
- Cleaning wipes
- Antiseptic cream
- Emergency blanket
2. Stuck and Stalled Tools
You’re driving on a cold, windy, and snowy winter day when you find yourself stuck in a snowbank. Or, you could be off-roading in the bayous and get trapped in a thick puddle of mud. Whatever the case may be, your top priority is to free your car from the entrapment it’s in. To get yourself out of sticky situations, pack your trunk with:
- A shovel to dig yourself out of trouble
- A tow strap if a passerby is able to tug you out
- An electric jump starting kit or jumper cables if your battery needs some extra juice
- A gas can to get more fuel
Warning: do not keep a filled gas can in your car. Only drive with a full one during emergencies if someone brings you to a station to fill up. It could turn into a fireball of an accident if you make this a habit.
- Traction mats, sand, or cat litter to increase traction when you’re stuck
3. Fire Extinguisher
If your car catches on fire, it’s best to get away as soon as possible, especially as flame near your car’s engine could result in a massive explosion. However, in the event of small fires, a fire extinguisher can come in handy. Having a Class B and Class C rated fire extinguisher strapped down in your trunk will allow you to contain a small fire before it becomes unmanageable.
4. Tire Pressure Gauge
Without properly inflated tires, you could risk getting a flat in no time. Driving with tires with correct air pressure will maximize your mileage, give you better traction, and will keep your car safe. This is why it’s important to keep a tire pressure gauge in your glove box to regularly check the psi of your tires. For increased support, place tire pressure caps on each tire. These caps will turn a different color if your tire pressure falls below 10% to ensure your vehicle stays stable at all times. Not only are they really convenient, they’re extremely affordable as well!
5. Reflecting Tools
If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road, whether it’s a serious or common car emergency, it’s important to have reflection tools that warn other drivers. Sometimes, distracted drivers may not see you’ve pulled over, which can result in another accident. Keep everyone safe on the road by having flares, reflective triangles, or LED flashing lights in your car in case of an emergency. Reflective tools will also alert police and emergency vehicles and allow them to spot you from a distance
The Bottom Line
You never know when you’ll find yourself with car trouble. Being prepared for every situation will not only save time, but also save your life. Many of these tools don’t require any experience so you won’t need to worry about having the mechanical knowledge to fix your car. With these 5 essential tools, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re ready for anything.