The average person spends more time in their car than they want. If you commute long distances, you spend a lot of time in your car. Those of you with kids who are in different activities also spend a lot of time in your car shuttling kids around. Why am I reminding you of that depressing fact?
It is because the more time you spend in your car, the more likely you will have some kind of incident while in it. I know this because I essentially work out of a vehicle. It might be as small as a skinned knee or as big as a crash but stuff happens on the road so you need to be prepared. To make things harder, you need to be covered on two fronts: mechanical and personal.
For your car, you need jumper cables or a portable starter battery (which you then have to remember to keep charged). A phone charger is good to keep in your car in case your battery is dead during an emergency. The camera on it will also help if you are in a wreck so you can take pictures of your car and the other person’s. Also a flashlight and flares or triangle reflectors to keep you safe if you have to make repairs or wait for a tow in the dark or bad weather. Speaking of repairs, a toolkit with a jack, tire iron, a tire inflator and patch kit, and a spare will make things easier for you. You also need fluids – motor oil, coolant, washer fluid, and water. If you live where there is snow, you’ll need an ice scraper. Kitty litter can help you gain traction if you are stuck in mud or snowy slush. I also keep a seatbelt cutter/window breaker in the car. Those things will help you handle most situations.
Now for things to keep in the car for you: a pen and paper in case you get into a wreck and need to take someone’s information, some non-perishable snacks like granola or energy bars to eat if you get trapped in your car and need to wait for help, a blanket to stay warm if you get stuck and need to stay warm, and a basic first aid kit.
If this sounds too complicated, there are pre-assembled kits you can buy online. Whether you buy it all together or you assemble it yourself, keep everything together somehow. A box, a backpack, whatever works for you. Here is the most important part: please leave it in your car so you’ll have it if you ever need it.
Regular maintenance can stop many vehicle problems before they start, so stay current with all that. And even if you obey every safety law and are careful when driving in bad weather, sometimes you cannot avoid an accident. So it’s better to just be prepared.