10 Gifts for Car Owners
10 Items Every Driver Should Have in Their Car
Every time we get into our cars we expect them to start and get us from point A to point B without any problems. Yet daily we see drivers stranded on the side of the road. They may have a flat, run out of gas or any number of other reasons for being there. They are stuck until someone stops to help.
But, what if help is not available in a timely manner and they are there for a long time. Then what? I have created this list of 10 items every driver should have in their car any time they are on the road. Whether the trip is cross town or cross country, I believe these items will help keep you safe until help arrives.
Why You May Need These Items
I hope you do not but, what if you do?
I personally have needed and used or seen a stranded motorist needing one or more of the items on this list. Hopefully you will never need anything on this list but, what if you do and you do not have it?
Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and Ben Franklin said that 250 years ago. Did he know something we do not?
10. The Tire Pressure Gauge - Proper Tire Inflation Increases Safety and Saves Gas
Keeping your tires properly inflated will put more rubber on the road thus giving you more control of your vehicle. We all know that tires will wear out. With proper inflation the wear will be more even across the tire giving it a longer life. It has also been shown proper tire inflation will save gas. At today's prices even an extra half mile per gallon adds up. Check your owner's manual for the proper tire inflation for your vehicle and check your tire pressure at least once a month.
There are fancier tire pressure gauges but for something to keep in your glove box, the Pencil Style Tire Pressure Gauge cannot be beat. It is easy to use, easy to read and can take a beating. I have used this type of gauge to check my tire pressure since before I could drive.
Tire Pressure Gauge
Do You Have a Tire Pressure Gauge In Your Car?
Check out the Tire Pressure Gauges on Amazon - Want a Selection? Check out Amazon's.
9. The Windshield Ice Scraper - The quicker your windshield is clean the quicker you get going.
Ok, if you are from the South you may not need an ice scraper to clean your windshield in the wintertime. But, I once got caught in a snow and ice storm while visiting Myrtle Beach, SC. Boy was I glad to have my scraper with me that day.
This little tool is great. Even if the ice gets a little thick the back end is pretty good for gouging out the thicker ice. The handle is comfortable and reduces hand strain. Real good for cars and smaller vehicles.
The Windshield Ice Scraper
Do you know where your ice scraper is?
Got Some Multi Use Scrapers on Amazon
The Flash Light/Head Lamp
For number 8 I have two suggestions. First the Flash Light, necessary no matter what. Comes in handy at night or when you are looking in that dark part of your car for something. Problem is you must hold it in your hand leaving only one hand to work with.
Second is the Head Lamp. Ok, some may laugh but, it is hands free and if you are trying to change a tire or something where you need both hands, let them laugh.
8. The Flash Light
The ever useful flash light. Useful for seeing where you are going, what you are doing or who is out there. The must have tool when the lights go out.
I have used a MagLite 2D Cell flash light for years. Its durability, powerful light and long lasting bulbs have provided me with the light I needed when I needed it. An excellent tool when it is dark. It also comes in a variety of colors - Red, Blue, Black and Silver. I like the Blue.
Which is Better? - Flash Light vs Head Lamp
Which would you prefer on a dark night the Flash Light or the Head Lamp
7. Jumper Cables
There is no worse feeling than jumping in your car to go some where and it will not start because the battery is dead. Unless it is that you find some one who is willing to give you a jump but, neither of you has jumper cables.
Do You Have Jumper Cables in Your Car?
Get you Jumper Cables at Amazon
6. Emergency Beacon Flares
If you were not serious before now it is time to get serious. Car trouble does not always happen at home or in a parking lot where you are relatively safe. Most often trouble happens while you are on the road. If you are pulled to the side of the road, you will need to let other drivers know you are there. Especially at night when visibility is greatly reduced. You can accomplish this with Flares or Warning Triangles.
I have always been wary of traditional road flares. The possibility of getting burned, flares burning out before help arrives and such. With these Beacon Flares I do not have those problems. They run on 3-AA batteries for each light. The instructions say they will last about 20+ hours on a set depending on whether you use flashing or steady light. Also, they can be attached to the vehicle saving your car battery. No worries about starting a fire, getting burned or running out of flares.
Do you carry Road Flares or Reflective Triangles in your car?
5. The First Aid Kit
You never know when you will need first aid. A good first aid kit is a must no matter what.
When I was working with AAA I found they have a lot of great stuff. I found this first aid kit which is really more than a first aid kit. It has jumper cables, an air pump, reflective triangles and more. I keep this in the trunk of my car.
Emergency First Aid
Do you keep a first aid kit in your car?
First Aid Kits on Amazon - You never know when you will need a first aid kit
4. A Travel Blanket
They use to call them survival blankets or space blankets. But, just in case you get caught on the road and need one it is good to have along.
I like this type of travel blanket because it is light, does keep the heat in and if needed it will shelter me from the rain or other weather. If taken care of it does last quite a while.
My Travel Blanket
Do you have a travel blanket?
Amazon has Travel Blankets - Why not warm up with one of these?
3. A Folding Shovel - Cannot dig out without a shovel
Getting stuck in a rut and spinning your tires is no fun. Or as where I live I get stuck in the ice and snow. Having a shovel handy is the best solution for either of these situations.
This is similar to the shovel I had when I joined the Marine Corps. It is very durable and the pick option on it is great for breaking up the ice under my tires so as to get traction. I get to use it at least once a winter making it a most valuable tool for me.
Ever gotten stuck in a rut or snow and needed a shovel to get out?
Of Course Amazon has Shovels
2. Emergency Food and Water - The essentials of life.
It does not matter were you live, you could get caught in a severe weather situation. From the snow storms in the north, to hurricanes in the south or even a severe rainstorm in the southwest, it can happen. You could be stuck in your vehicle for a short time or many hours. So why not be prepared?
Just before I got out of the Marine Corps MRE's were just making their entrance. A major improvement over C-Rats. Now I get them were ever I can and keep a case ready in the car, just in case.
Emergency Food and Water
So you have a stash of food and water in the car?
Amazon does have Food. - Your Just in Case Place
1. A Fire Extinguisher
If you have never seen a real car fire, it is not a pleasant sight or smell. Hopefully your car never catches fire but, why not have a fire extinguisher just to be safe. It might also save some damage to your car if there is a fire.
I have never had a car catch fire but, an extinguisher like this came with my van and after seeing a car burn while waiting for the fire department, it just made sense to have one in the car as well. But do not limit it to your car, this is also an important item to have in your home. Better to be safe.
Car fires on YouTube
Do you have an extinguisher in your vehicle?
A Final Thought
Staying safe while on the road is staying aware of your surroundings. Keeping your vehicle in good working condition by checking the tires, changing the oil and having it checked out by a qualified mechanic regularly allows you one less worry while traveling.
Preparing ahead of time for possible unexpected situations just makes good sense. I hope you never have need of most of the items I have laid out here but, if you do or another driver in your family does won't you feel better by having prepared ahead of time? I know I would. Happy driving and be safe out there.
By the way this article was posted on AOL December 22, 2011 Missing Arizona State Student Survived.