11 Items You Should Never Drive Without

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The items that you carry around in your trunk with you could make all the difference when you are out on the open road. After all, you never know when you could get into difficulties or an accident. Carrying around a few items in your trunk at all times helps to give you that all important peace of mind – as long as you know how to use them all of course! It may be that you suddenly get a flat type, you encounter some difficult terrain or you need to signal for help. All of these eventualities are covered in this list, and they are all very real possibilities that you could end up facing.

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As well as carrying the right items in your trunk, it is also worth knowing about what you need to do if you are involved in a car accident, firstly regarding safety and secondly regarding insurance, contacting a lawyer etc. Though modern car manufacturers are doing everything they can to protect drivers and passengers, car accidents are still fairly common at the moment. Of course, things may well be different when the era of driverless cars comes around, and other technological features are already having a big impact. But, for now, let’s go through the top 11 things that you should always have in your trunk for your own safety and security.

First Aid Kit

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Let’s start with an obvious one, but an extremely important one nevertheless. A fully stocked first aid kit contains all sorts of essentials that can help to deal with a wide range of different problems. It may be just a minor scrape or something more serious that needs patching while you wait for help. Just a few of the items that you will want to have in your kit include plasters, bandages, safety pins, scissors, sticky tape, a thermometer, eyewash and various types of medicine. When you are driving in many countries, they require you to carry one of these by law so this gives you an added incentive if you needed one.

Jumper Cables

You never know when a flat battery is going to strike. If you have left your car standing for some time, you need to have a ‘Plan B’ if it doesn’t start straight away. And if you are not well-versed in how jumper cables operate, it is worth brushing up your skills as this may well save you from having to call someone out to rescue you. Consult your car’s handbook so you know which leads are most compatible with your car’s engine and battery. When you are using them, keep metal objects well out of the way to avoid a dangerous situation.   

Kitty Litter

It may seem strange to carry kitty litter around in your trunk to some people, but not to the ones who have actually used it. First of all, it can provide you with that valuable extra traction that you need to drive away from a slippery service. This can prove to be invaluable in icy conditions and can save you from having to call out a tow truck. Another use that drivers have for kitty litter is mopping up oil spills. And you can even use it to neutralise any bad smells from spilled substances inside the car itself!

Spare Tire

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An item that you should be carrying around regardless of what type of car you are driving is a spare tire, which may be needed at any point. And if you know how to change it yourself, this is always going to be an added bonus as you won’t have to call for help. If you have never used this tire before, make sure that the tread hasn’t worn away and it is still safe to use on your car. Rubber degrades over time – usually around six years – and this ageing process can be accelerated if it has been exposed to heat. Tires have an expiry date on them so it is always worth checking this. In fact, now is the perfect opportunity. After all, it is much worse to find out that your tire has expired after you have already got a flat on the freeway!

Jack and Lug Wrench

Continuing nicely on from the last item, a spare tire is not going to do you much good unless you have a jack to prop up the car and a wrench to remove the lug nuts. Changing a spare tire doesn’t have to be a difficult task, so you should watch a video to get a better idea of what you need to do and get some practice in if you can. This is a task that shouldn’t be beyond anyone, but it just takes a little bit of practice so you are completely comfortable that you know what you are doing when the moment arrives.

Tire Pressure Gage and Air Pump

A tire pressure gage and air pump are two items that go hand in hand. Rather than having to go to a garage or gas station every time you need to check your tire pressures, you can do this from wherever you need to with a pressure gauge. And if you have a portable air compressor, you can fill up the tires when you need to. Properly pumped up tires improve both the handling and fuel efficiency of the vehicle, and you should check them on a regular basis. They also need to be adjusted depending on how much weight you are carrying around in the car with you.

Blanket

It may not seem as important as some of the previous items mentioned, but a blanket can be very useful in a number of different situations. It is there if you need to clean your tools after undertaking some car maintenance, and it is also there if you want to protect your seats from getting dirty. It can even be used to keep you warm if you are unlucky enough to break down during the winter months. And it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space in your trunk either which is always a bonus.

Flashlight and Safety Vest

If you break down during the night, a flashlight provides you with a vital source of light so you can still do a variety of car maintenance tasks. You may even need it to provide a signal to other road users to indicate that you are in difficulty. Following on from the last point, a safety vest can also prove to be invaluable as you can wear it to attract attention on roads that aren’t well lit. It is another one of those things that doesn’t take up much space but you may one day be very glad you have it.

Duct Tape

You may laugh when you see cars which are held together by duct tape, but the truth is that this can be a very useful tool that will help you out before you can get to a mechanic. You may have gotten into a minor collision which has led to your mirror, bumper or part of your grille hanging off. As long as the car is still driveable, a few inches of duct tape can patch up the problem and get you comfortably driving again.

 

Emergency Cell Phone Charger

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Your smartphone can get you out of all sorts of difficult situations, but not if the battery is dead. There are plenty of portable cell phone chargers out there which can provide you with that much-needed charge so you can call for help, find out where you are or look up how to change a tire! Even if you are not in an emergency situation, you never know when a charger is going to come in handy.

Fire Extinguisher

Though you may think that it is unlikely that you will ever need to use a fire extinguisher at any point, it is much better to be overprepared rather than underprepared. After all, there are thousands of vehicle fires every year, many of which are caused by technical defaults in vehicles. If you do ever find yourself involved in a vehicle fire, you should stop your car and turn off the engine as soon as possible. Next, it is time to call the fire brigade. Check the wind direction before spraying – you want to have your back to it. You then need to spray the extinguisher directly at the fire using short pumps.

These 11 items are the top things that you should be carrying around in your trunk at all times. It is worth taking a look in your car to check what you have and what is still missing. Alongside these items, it is also worth building up your knowledge on issues such as how to change a flat tire and how to use jumper cables. After all, some of these items will be useless without having this information as well!   

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