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Top 10 Things to Have in Your Car

Updated on February 16, 2013

Stay Safe in Your Car

It's a jungle out there. When you are out driving around there are certain things to have in your car at all times. Well, at least most of the time. If you want to play it safe, here are the top 10 things to have in your car so you won't be caught off guard.

Stay safe, and grab these supplies for your car now. You will be safer for it.

Name Something You Should Keep in the Trunk of Your Car Just in Case

When asked to quickly think of this question, many people will list a few items off the top of their head and come up with much the same list, but going a bit deeper into the list can really pay off when an item is really needed.

It's a good idea not only to ponder the list below, but actually to take action and get some of these items in your car now. When the time comes, you will be glad you did.

The Top 10 List of Car Things

Here is the list of things that you should consider carrying in your car just in case.

Air Gauge

First of all, before you have an issue with your tire you should be checking them regularly. Not only will that improve your mileage, but having properly inflated tires will extend the life of your tires and save you money. A tire gauge is such a cheap thing to buy that you should not be without one. Opt for a digital gauge for easy readout, throw it in the glove compartment, and you're set.

Tire Pump

You may never want to use it, but if you are in an out of the way spot at the moment you have a flat this might be your only hope to reach civilization again without jumping in the car of a stranger.

You could opt for the aerosol cans that will add air to your tire but beware, they may cause permanent damage. For a slow leak or low spare a manual tire pump will be your new best friend.


If you do have to change a tire on the road, it's funny how often it will be at night. if you are in the city that is one thing, but if you are in the country at the time it could be very dark. Not only that, it's pretty important that you get your car's jack in the right spot on your car frame to avoid injury.

Any flashlight will do, but there are LED flashlights that run on the same battery for a long time as well as flashlights that do not need a batty at all. Just make sure you can leave the flashlight on without pressing a button constantly or you will not be able to change a tire in the light.

Road Flare

Being parked on the side of a highway can be very dangerous. If you are in a spot with lots of traffic a road flare will be a huge safety feature for you to have. A flare is the best way to slow down traffic and make sure that everyone sees you.

It's stressful enough to change the tire. You don't need to be hit by a car at the same time.

Carpet Remnant

If you might get stuck in the snow and ice, an old carpet remnant can really make a difference. Once you get your tires moving in an icy snow it will compact quickly and you'll be stuck. Putting a carpet remnant between your tire and the snow might be just the traction you need to get back on the road.

It's easy to throw in the trunk and it will be there when you need it.

Hat & Gloves

Keep an extra hat and gloves in the car for those unexpected stops in the cold. You may never want these in the car, but if you have to get out to check out the car in a cold wind chill you will be very happy you have them.

Not only that, if you need to wait for a while in the cold for help and your car is not running, the cold can work its way into the car quickly. Keeping your head and hands warm is the best way to stay safe in the frigid temperatures.


Speaking of keeping warm, a spare blanket is the next best thing you can have after a good coat if you are stuck out in nature waiting for a tow. Keep a blanket around just in case.


If you live in a place where there is snow you are bound to need a shovel sooner or later. Whether you got stuck in the snow or you came out from work and your car was surrounded by a drift, a shovel is the best way to clear snow from under or around your car so that you can make it to the plowed surface.

You don't need anything great. Just a cheap plastic model that is light and will serve you if you need it will do. Just keep it in the trunk until spring.

Jumper Cables

Do you want to save a bunch of money the next time your car won't start. Invest in a good set of jumper cables and keep them in your trunk at all times. Many times your car won't start, especially on a cold winter day, it's because your battery needs a boost.

Jumper cables are easy enough to use that you can do it. All you need is another person with a car and you can get you engine started. You may even be a hero for someone else someday when they need a jumpstart.

Cell Phone

This one may seem obvious, but the best safety feature in a car might just be a cell phone. Having an easy way to call for help if you need it is a good idea, especially if you are on a remote road or in unknown territory.

If you don't want to spend a lot, consider a talk as you go phone where you prepay the minutes. You can get this for as little as $5 per month and just throw it in the glove compartment so it's there for you. Just remember to keep the phone charged from time to time.

Stay Safe

Stay safe out there. Keep these top 10 things to have in your car right in the vehicle or trunk so they are there when you need them.


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    • truckdriversafety profile image

      Clara Voz 4 years ago from Osaka, Japan

      Good points !! Happy to see your article.. Its very helpful for us. Thank you for posting.

    • landocheese profile image

      landocheese 6 years ago

      WannaB - Good call on the walking shoes. It's true - if you get stuck in the snow and only have slipper dress shoes you are in trouble. I remember trying to push a car on the ice once in dress shoes. That didn't work. Thanks for the comment.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Good reminder. I don't live where there is snow, nor can I change a tire. but the cell phone, flashlight, water, warm clothes, blanket, and jumper cables are very important. I would add an old pair of walking shoes and socks if you often drive in uncomfortable shoes to and from work. I always also try to have something to read in case I have to wait somewhere for a tow truck or repair. A bit of trail mix is also good to have. Stress can make one hungry.

    • landocheese profile image

      landocheese 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comments Stephanie and Jennie. I do keep sunglasses in the car. They keep my eyes from getting tires on a long drive which certainly is safer.

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 6 years ago from Floating in the clouds

      Totally agree. You don't realize how much some of these little things matter until you need them. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Especially true if you travel far from home often or are taking a road trip.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Very good list, and all things that everyone should carry. I would add that we always carry an extra hat, sunglasses, a jug of water and a tow rope. Maybe it's from traveling in remote areas, but those things have come in handy more than once. And don't forget the emergency Snickers bar... Good hub!

    • landocheese profile image

      landocheese 6 years ago

      Moon Daisy - nice photo. I took mine myself of my Alaska daisies but they sure look the same. I fully understand the crying child and I agree, the right music can really help.

      Greg - A rope is a great idea. You reminded me of two times I needed that very thing. Thanks for the input!

    • profile image

      Greg Kuehn 6 years ago

      After having friends we were traveling with go off the road on a VERY remote section of north Idaho, I can tell you a TOW ROPE is now something I carry in the car all the time. Doesn't take up much space and you will thank your lucky stars if it gets you out of a jam.

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 6 years ago from London

      Nice hub. For us I would add car sickness tablets and fairytale cds! I guess they don't fall under the category of safety, but vital nonetheless with a child. (Although an unhappy, crying child can indeed cause safety issues for the person driving, as it can make it very hard to concentrate on the road).

      (Wow, I like how we have such similar profile photos. How funny!)

    • landocheese profile image

      landocheese 6 years ago

      Rinor81 - I guess we could say listening to music might keep you awake so it's safety issue right?

      James - Thanks for the additions. You're right, the salt might be just the thing if you are on ice.

    • James Halpin profile image

      James Halpin 6 years ago from York, Pennsylvania

      Great article. Just a couple of more things you should have.

      1. A small bag of salt if you get stuck in snow.

      2.An empty gas can in case you need to walk for gas. Itshould only be empty because if you leave a full one in the car the fumes will get through-out the car. And don't assume the gas station you walk to will have a gas can. It happened to me. I got so irrate with the manager there because I had walked a mile to get there and had to walk another mile to getto another gas station. They have gas cans now.

      3. a bottle of water to drink if you're stranded or to drink while you're walking to the gas station.

      Again I really like this article. Its timed perfectly with the cold weather coming. Oh, the flashlight is good to have in the city too. I lost a lug nut while changing my tire along a city street and was so thankfu; I had my cell phone to look for it.

    • Rinor81 profile image

      Rinor81 6 years ago

      Don't forget to get good speakers and stereo, I know it's nothing about being safe but good music always makes you feel good and that's important on the road.