Most people have a first aid kit in their homes, but having one in your car is just as important. Unfortunately, there are a wide range of car emergencies that can occur.
Don’t allow yourself to go unprepared! This guide will tell you some basic items to include in your car first aid kit.
Drivers should always have certain materials on hand so that, if they are presented with an emergency situation, they are prepared.
Bankrate.com recommends 20 must haves, but we’ve slimmed that list down to just 9.
- Flashlight and batteries
- Roadside-assistance number
- Duct Tape
- Ice scraper (if you’re in the cold)
These items are vital for emergencies, but they’re also extremely useful for everyday situations and AskMen recommends drivers carry these items to reduce stress and worry while on the road.
- Cell phone: Always have your cell phone in the car with you. You shouldn’t talk on it while you’re driving, but make sure it’s there in case you break down or get into some other situation in which you need assistance. Otherwise, you won’t be able to contact anyone and tell them where you are!
- Cell phone charger: If you’re doing the right thing and bringing your cell phone along for the ride, don’t let it die while driving — that defeats the point! Purchase a car phone charger and leave it in your vehicle.
- GPS: If you have no sense of direction, or if you became lost because of faulty directions, you’ll probably get nervous and want a quick way to figure out where you’re going. Having a GPS not only makes getting lost a lot less likely — it gives you a peace of mind that allows you to be confident while traveling.
Pad and pen: If you need to write down directions or take down accident information, it’s always handy to have paper and a pen nearby. Nowadays, a smartphone can serve the same role.
GENERAL FIRST AID
When compiling your car first aid kit, don’t forget to include a separate, general first aid kit. The American Red Cross recommends that you not only keep a first aid kit in your home but also in your car — it’s important to have access to one at all times!
Make sure to include:
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibiotic ointment
These are the more emergency-oriented items that can be real day- or even life-savers. Cars are high-maintenance, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. ConsumerReports suggests these and other items in order to handle car emergencies much easier.
- Fire extinguisher: If there’s a major fire, get out of the car immediately. However, if you catch a smaller fire that just started, whip out the fire extinguisher to get the situation under control.
- Warning lights: If you have to pull over for any reason, it’s important to be able to signal to other cars that you’re immobile so that they don’t hit you. Get lights so that you can be more visible at night.
- Jack and lug wrench: Got a flat tire? Make sure you have the tools to be able to change it!
- Folding shovel: Living in a place where it snows can mean a lot of driving troubles. If you need to shovel the stuff out of the way, having a compact shovel in your car will make your life a lot easier.
- Jumper cables: Having a dead battery can really ruin your day. Don’t make it worse by not having the jumper cables necessary to bring your car back to life.
- Car-window breaker: If you find yourself in an urgent, dangerous situation, and your door is jammed, having a car-window breaker and being able to escape can literally save your life.
Make sure these items are in your vehicle in case an unfortunate situation arises. Be sure the fire extinguisher and car-window breaker are within reaching distance so that you can handle the emergency as quickly as possible.
While these are a lot of items to have in your vehicle, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Overcompensate so that you know you’re prepared for almost every situation out there. If you don’t want to create the first aid kits on your own, some come prepackaged, like this one from Home Depot. If you go this route, just make sure to include supplemental items you think are necessary.