Safety is a top priority when operating a vehicle. It’s important to be prepared, especially when you are driving in a new and unfamiliar country. You’ve learned the rules of the road, now it’s time to stock your car with the safety essentials.
MSN Autos shared their list of “17 Items You Should Always Carry in Your Car”
By Charles Plueddeman of MSN Autos
Many of today’s new cars have the latest gizmos for comfort, navigation and safety, but no car is really equipped until there are two basic staples in the glove box: a flashlight and a tire-pressure gauge. These are the first two of 17 items that drivers should have in their cars at all times for safety, for convenience and for the day the gizmos let them down. How many of these items are in your vehicle right now? Let’s take a look.
A big aluminum Maglite used to be the favored flashlight to carry (good enough for police work, good enough for everyday citizens), but now there are compact LED flashlights that are really bright and don’t take up much space in the glove box. It’s a help that you can hold one in your teeth when you need both hands to change a tire or open a fuse box on a dark night. An LED headlamp is a great alternative, and a set of spare batteries is always a good idea.
Keep an air gauge in the center console as a reminder to check each tire once a month. Low tire pressure can cause dangerous blowouts, and tires underinflated by only 6 pounds per square inch can reduce fuel economy by 5 percent and reduce tread life by 25 percent. Your car’s specified tire pressure is posted on a sticker in the driver’s side door frame. It’s normal for tires to lose a pound or two of pressure a month.
For those minor injuries that don’t require dialing 911, a few bandages, gauze, tape, disinfectant, tweezers and ibuprofen are handy for handling minor cuts and scrapes on the road, especially if you are traveling with kids. Medication for motion sickness is another thoughtful addition.
If you buy a used car and the owner’s manual is missing, order a replacement through a dealer. One of these days you might need it to identify a blown fuse, figure out how to reset the clock or know where to place the jack when you get a flat tire.
If you buy a used car, check to make sure that all the components of the jack and other tools you need to change a flat tire are actually in the car and haven’t been misplaced by the previous owner. There are usually tire-changing directions in the owner’s manual or on a sticker near where the spare tire is stowed. There is a spare tire, right? Make sure that is properly inflated.