It’s not just the Boy Scouts who should be prepared. As a driver, you never know what will happen when you’re on the road. Smart drivers will prepare for things like flat tires, dead batteries, accidents and bad weather. To be able to confront a variety of unexpected problems, here is a list of suggestions for things that should be in your car at all times.
If you see someone waylaid on the side of the road next to their dead car, odds are their battery has died. This is a pretty common problem that will happen to most drivers at least once. To deal with a dead battery, you have one of two choices – you can either equip your car with jumper cables or a jumper box. Jumper boxes contain a battery you can attach to the dead one in your car, thus eliminating the need for another car. The downside is that they’re heavy and take up a lot of space which is why many people opt to store jumper cables in their car instead.
A spare tire is something that every car should be equipped with, along with a jack and a lug wrench to help you get the old tire off and put the new tire on. Getting a flat tire or having one of your tires blowout is a relatively common experience. If you don’t have a spare tire in the car, changing your tire will become a far greater hassle than it need be – you’ll have to have someone bring you a new tire or else your car will need to be towed.
If you live in a place where it snows in the winter, a tow rope is a great thing to keep in your car. During or after a heavy snowfall, cars often get stuck in the snow. Although a tow rope by itself won’t help you – you’ll also need a second vehicle that is capable of pulling your car out of the snow – it’s easier to flag down another car for help than it is to locate a tow rope in the middle of a snowstorm on a deserted road.
For drivers who take being prepared seriously, there are prepackaged auto safety kits available for purchase. You can also put one of these kits together yourself. They usually contain things like flashlights, D-cell batteries, ponchos, air compressors, blankets, bungee cords, multi tools, duct tape and first aid kits.
It’s always a good idea to have a cellphone on you while driving. If your car dies in a deserted place, you can call someone to tow you instead of trying to flag down someone else and use their phone. If you are involved in an accident or witness one, you can easily get a hold of the cops or emergency services. You should also store a disposable camera in your car for accidents so you can take pictures of the location and the damage to the car for insurance purposes.