Staying Safe: Six Things Every Driver Should Have in Their Car

Written by Amelia Gray on February 3, 2010 & Posted in Auto Insurance

Whether you're gearing up for that big cross-country trip, outfitting your first RV, or simply turning over a new leaf with a safer vehicle, use our guide to learn the six essential pieces for any auto.

From insurance to canned fruit, a few simple items can keep you safe in any driving scenario. Take our simple tips and drive safe wherever you go.

#1. Auto Insurance
Possibly the most essential piece of paper for day-to-day driving, your RV or auto insurance keeps you compliant with the law. Cheap insurance keeps you legal on the road, while more substantial policies offer extra peace of mind. When choosing insurance, consider your driving record, accident history, price range, family size, and how many and the ages of the drivers you expect to cover in five to ten years.

#2. Maps & Manuals
Second to insurance, the most essential papers in your RV or auto tell you how to maintain your vehicle and where to go. A good national atlas can give you detailed maps of major cities and country roads alike. Your owner's manual gives you the details on filters, oil type, and proper care and maintenance.

#3. Car Chargers
Your cell phone is only as good as its battery, and backup power may be essential. Consider a car charger for every type of cell phone in your family, so everyone's covered in case of an accident. Car chargers also come in handy if you forget to pack your usual charger for a long trip.

#4. Food, Water, Blankets, & a Flashlight
Canned fruit or nuts keep for a long time; you can forget about them until you need them. Switch out water bottles every few months to avoid contamination from degrading plastic products in hot parked cars. If you ever sneak a snack, be sure to replace your supply as soon as you can. Often, being able to see when it's dark and keep warm when it's cold can come in very handy.

#5. First Aid
When it comes to health emergencies, take a tip from the Boy Scouts and always be prepared. Even a cheap first aid kit contains basic bandages and disinfectant to care for minor injuries. More extensive kits often have sterile gloves, CPR devices, and hot and cold packs. If you take essential medications daily, keep a couple of days supply in the vehicle.

#6. Jumper Cables
A dead battery is the fastest way to put your travel plans on hold. Pack a sturdy set of jumper cables and learn the simple instructions for using them; your auto or RV can always be a jump away from getting back on the road. You can save money by going to the battery store and avoiding the tow truck.

Last, but not least, always accessorize for your driving weather. Snow chains and ice-melting sand are a must for icy climates, while a pocket umbrella can save you from getting drenched during a rainstorm. Accessorize your vehicle and drive smarter.

Insurance Information Institute, Car Safety Breakdown

About the Author

Amelia Gray is a freelance writer in Austin, TX. Amelia earned a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Arizona State University and an MFA from Texas State University.


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