Owning a car comes with responsibilities, and when you're out on the road, you want to have some items in your car to make sure that you have what you need in the event of a minor emergency. You need to keep you and your passengers safe, and you need to be able to get help quickly if you find yourself in an emergency. So packing some items in your car will give you greater peace of mind when you're out on the road, and here are the top seven items that you should have in your car at all times.
- Reflective Triangles
One of the most important things that you should have in your vehicle is a set of reflective triangles. You can have cones, but triangles are better because they fit into the back of your car much more easily. If you break down on the side of the road or come upon an accident, you can put the triangles out so that other drivers can see the scene more quickly.
- Jumper Cables and a Portable Jumper Kit
Having a portable jumper kit in your car can save you a lot of hassle if your battery dies and there's no one else around. But it's also nice to have regular jumper cables in case your car's battery has been dead for a while and the portable jumper kit isn't strong enough to start the car.
- First Aid Kit
Sure, you can stop at a gas station, but it's always nice to have some bandages available in case someone cuts their finger or has a headache. You should also pack some antiseptic spray and gauze.
If you're stuck out in the desert at night or in the middle of a snowstorm, you'll want to have a blanket. In a snowstorm, you could accidentally drive into a ditch, and it might be a half an hour or more until a tow truck can pull you out. Having a couple of blankets along could even save you and your passengers' lives if no one can get out to you for a few hours.
- Charged Cell Phone
There are still some people who don't have smartphones, but you should really have at least a cell phone. Yes, it's true, 20 years ago no one had cell phones, but they're commonplace today, and you can get a flip phone and a basic plan for as little as $10 per month if you shop around. That's a small price to pay to know that you can contact someone in the event of an emergency.
- Roadside Assistance Card
When you buy insurance, definitely buy the roadside assistance if it doesn't automatically come as a perk on your car. You can jack a car and put a new tire on, but someone who does it for a living can usually do it more quickly. They can even tow your vehicle to a mechanic, such as GC Mechanic BlackLabel, if you have a more serious repair that needs to be done. Some newer cars come with assistance as part of the vehicle's package, so check with your leasing documents or the paperwork that you signed when you closed on the vehicle to find out what kinds of services you get with your vehicle.
- Gas Can
It's embarrassing when it happens, but you can run out of gas. It's always nice to have a gas can in your car so that you can walk to a station or get a ride from someone else to get gas. While you can buy a can at the station, some smaller stores only keep a few in their inventory at any one time, so it's nice to simply have a can in your car. But always clean it out between uses, as you shouldn't have gasoline in the cabin of your car because it's combustible.
You should check on your supply about once every six months to ensure that you still have what you need in your car. Some supplies, such as bandages and pain reliever, can run out. Other supplies, such as roadside assistance card, can expire, so it's worthwhile to make a list and check to ensure that you'll have what you need when you need it.