When driving, as with almost everything, it’s smart to “hope for the best but plan for the worst.” If the worst ever happens, here are 10 essential items you’ll be glad you keep in your car:
1. Flashlight for roadside emergencies.
2. Fire extinguisher. Secure properly with an approved automotive bracket.
3. Umbrella for keeping dry when an unexpected storm hits, particularly if you have to walk for help after a breakdown.
4. Snow brush. Does any self-respecting Canadian driver not have one?
5. Pencil and pad for noting information in case of a collision. Pencils won’t dry out or freeze like pens might.
6. Booster cables, along with instructions.
7. First aid kit.
8. Cellphone to call 911. Any working phone will do. No calling plan is required. By law, carriers must connect 911 calls.
9. Blanket for first aid to prevent shock in trauma victim, or just keeping warm while waiting for help after a cold weather breakdown.
10. Road flares or emergency reflector triangle. Commercial truck drivers are required to carry and utilize these items to alert motorists to a broken down vehicle on the road ahead. While not mandatory for the rest of us, these warning devices might prevent a collision with your disabled car at roadside, particularly at night.
These are my top 10 suggestions, obviously your personal “must have in car” list may vary. Some drivers carry spare fuses, but I’ve never needed one. Have your electrical system checked if fuses blow repeatedly.
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