7 Essential Safety Items Everyone Should Keep In Their Car

By Study Finds

Preparing for emergencies is essential, especially when you’re on the road. Recent events, like the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, highlight the importance of car safety. While we don’t want to think about car accidents or getting stranded, having an emergency car kit with essential supplies can make a big difference.

The reality is that many drivers lack basic car knowledge. A recent survey found that a significant portion of drivers don’t know essential information about their own vehicles, like engine size or how to check tire pressure. But regardless of your knowledge of vehicle maintenance, you can still improve your safety by equipping your car with a few items to prepare for the worst. Stocking your car with items such as a first aid kit, flashlight, and jumper cables can help you handle unexpected situations on the road. StudyFinds combed through eight safety guides to determine the most important safety items to keep in your car. Are there other items we should keep on hand while on the road? Let us know in the comments!

1. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is probably the most essential safety item you can have in your car. Accidents happen, and having basic medical supplies on hand can help you address minor injuries or provide temporary relief until professional help arrives.

Flexed reminds us to keep it “fully stocked” so that you have everything you need in case of a medical emergency. Make sure your kit includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, adhesive tape, pain relievers, scissors, and any personal medications you may need.

A first aid kit comes in handy if someone is wounded in the car, becomes disoriented, or is in pain. Lumina adds that cotton balls, gloves, and medication for allergies also make great additions to this kit. For women, let’s not forget the feminine hygiene products!

For summertime, make sure your first aid kit has insect repellent and sunscreen, advises Safewise. Also, when packing prescription medication, bring enough for at least one day’s supply, and don’t forget the needs of your kids and pets if they are tagging along.

2. Phone Charger and Battery Charger

A working cell phone is vital for communication during emergencies. Keep a phone charger in your car ensures your device stays powered up, especially during long drives or unexpected delays. Additionally, consider carrying a portable battery charger to recharge your phone when you’re unable to access a power outlet.

You never know when your smartphone’s battery will run out, even if it has a long-lasting one, says Moneymax. When your car breaks down, you need to have enough battery life to call for help.

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Axel Addict advises us to always have one on hand, especially given some chargers are “less than 10 dollars.” In order to ensure that you don’t forget the charger at home, it’s also a good idea to have one dedicated to your car.

Solar-powered chargers, which use converted solar energy to power phones, are another option to consider, according to The List. If your car battery dies and you’re stuck somewhere without access to electricity, this will be helpful.

3. Flashlight

A reliable flashlight can be a lifesaver during nighttime emergencies or when you need to inspect your car in low light conditions. Whether you’re changing a tire, searching for lost items, or signaling for help, a flashlight provides essential illumination. Opt for a durable, waterproof flashlight with long battery life or consider a rechargeable option for added convenience.

J.D. Power suggests choosing a bright LED flashlight and checking the batteries on a regular basis. Carrying an extra set of batteries is also a good idea. Huffpost even suggests purchasing tactical LED flashlights for better zoom options and durability.

According to The List, if you want to keep a flashlight in your car, make sure it stays out of direct sunlight since this might lead to damage like battery leaking. Try keeping the flashlight somewhere that doesn’t become too hot.

Rechargeable flashlights have USB ports that can be readily charged in your car or at home, the capacity to operate for extended periods of time, and a hands-free option that shines headlamps or spotlights. There are also flashlights that are made with built-in window breakers, like the 4-in-1 car escape tool from Sinsen. Multipurpose tools like this one can mean the difference between life and death in certain situations.

4. Jumper Cables 

While jumper cables rely on another vehicle to jump-start your car, they are still indispensable in case of a dead battery. Whether you encounter a drained battery or come to the aid of another driver in need, jumper cables can help you get back on the road quickly.

Simple mistakes such as forgetting to turn off car lights can quickly drain a battery. The List advises keeping jumper cables on hand for such situations. And to ensure you are not a part of the 25% who likely do not know how to jump off their car battery, here’s how to jump your car:

  1. Begin by facing both cars towards each other and turn the operating vehicle off.
  2. Attach one of the red cable clamps to the positive post of the dead battery.
  3. Then, attach the other red cable to the positive post of the active battery.
  4. To prevent fires, connect one of the black cable clamps to the negative post of the active battery and the remaining clamp to an unpainted metal surface of the vehicle with the dead battery.
  5. Turn on the operating vehicle, and after some time, it will restart the dead battery.

According to Huffpost, the 12-volt jump starter kit like this one from Amazon, is the way to go! This tool acts as a portable charging device for your car battery as well as devices with USB adapters. It also has a “built-in 100-lumen LED flashlight” for easy use in the dark.

5. Blanket 

In cold weather or emergency situations, a blanket can provide warmth and comfort until help arrives. Whether you’re stranded on the side of the road or waiting for assistance in inclement weather, a blanket can help prevent hypothermia. Choose a durable, insulating blanket that folds compactly for easy storage in your car.

Even in the warmer months, the early hours might still seem a little chilly. A towel (or blanket) comes in useful for wiping up spills or for sitting on, adds Flexed. You may stow these out of the way in your trunk.

Axel Addict says great blankets don’t have to be expensive, so choose something cheap that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty. If you don’t have an extra blanket and want to save money, store an old winter coat in your car’s trunk. As long as you have something available to keep you warm in frigid conditions, it is the ideal item to keep in your car at all times.

In the event you are stranded in your vehicle, below-freezing temperatures can be deadly without the proper attire to keep warm. The List says a pair of socks, scarves, gloves or mittens, and hats are all excellent winter-wear options to have in your car.

Check out our list of the best throw blankets here.

6. Spare Tire

A flat tire can happen anytime, anywhere, so it’s essential to have a spare tire and the necessary tools to change it. Regularly check your spare tire’s condition and ensure it’s properly inflated. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the process of changing a tire or consider enrolling in a roadside assistance program for added peace of mind.

Safewise reminds us that it isn’t enough to be sure we have a functioning car jack and an extra tire with us. We should also have a four-way lug wrench and a container of oil, such as WD-40, to help us pry loose those sticky lug nuts on the wheels.

If your tire is able to be inflated, this may be the easiest way to get you to a nearby gas station or mechanic if you are not comfortable or able to change the tire yourself. Wondering which tire to buy? Your owner’s manual or local tire center can help you out. Moneymax also suggests consulting your local mechanic or service station so you are certain to purchase the right jack for your car. It should fit under your car’s frame and be able to lift your vehicle without damaging it.

7. Water and Non-Perishable Snacks

Staying hydrated and nourished is essential, especially during unexpected delays or emergencies. Keep a supply of bottled water and non-perishable snacks, such as granola bars or nuts, in your car. While you can survive longer without food than water, having both on hand ensures you’re prepared for extended periods on the road.

Summertime heat increases the likelihood of dehydration. When packing the car or changing a tire while on a road trip, for example, risk is substantially elevated. Keep enough water on hand at all times to ensure that you stay hydrated, adds Safewise. This is especially important for elderly people, kids, and pets.

J.D. Power says depending on the circumstances, you may have to wait a long time for help once your automobile breaks down. It’s a good idea to have something like almonds or jerky in your vehicle, especially if you’re traveling with kids or in a rural location.

Axel Addict reminds us to keep a check on the food we store in our cars and be sure it is always within date. Safety should be a top priority when driving, and being prepared for emergencies can make all the difference. By keeping these essential safety items in your car, you can navigate the roads with confidence and peace of mind. Stay safe out there!


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

Source: Study Finds

StudyFinds sets out to find new research that speaks to mass audiences — without all the scientific jargon. The stories we publish are digestible, summarized versions of research that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate.

Image: Pixabay

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