While new cars come with a ton of safety features and ways to protect you in the event of a car accident, there are still countless ways you could still get injured. That is why it is so important that you ensure you have certain key items in your car at all times. Whether you are taking a trip across town or across the country, having crucial items at your disposal can make a potentially disastrous situation safer for you and your passengers.
Blind Spot Mirror
Many newer model cars today come with a blind spot monitor. You may hear a little beep or see a small orange icon on your side mirror indicating that a vehicle is currently in your blind spot. However, you can also add a small convex mirror to your existing side mirror. This can give you extra protection by providing you a clear view of anything in your blind spot, potentially avoiding a collision with another vehicle.
Tire Pressure Monitor and Pump
Your tires are crucial components of your vehicle to keep you and your passengers safe on the road. When a car tire suffers damage, the result can be catastrophic. That is why it is so important to check your tire pressure regularly, especially before a long road trip. Not only does it help improve your gas mileage, but it will also help to keep you safe.
Carrying a tire pump with you is also a great idea. Many pumps plug into your car’s 12 volt outlet and some even have a USB connection. You want to get a pump that will pump enough pressure. If you have a bigger truck, you may need a more powerful pump. The pump should also have a tire pressure gauge built into it so you know when to turn the pump off and not overinflate your tires.
Your car battery requires some maintenance to ensure it works properly. If you experience excessive heat or cold temperatures, that can degrade your battery faster, making it more likely that your car will not start.
Carrying a portable rechargeable battery booster is a great tool to have if your battery dies. A battery booster will help you jump your car if it will not start, not only getting you moving again, but also working to recharge your car’s battery while you are driving. You do not want to be stuck on the side of the road without being able to start your car.
Flashlights and Batteries
Sometimes, you may get stuck waiting for a tow or for a friend to come pick you up. When it is dark out, you will want some light to stay safe. Carrying flashlights is a great way to be safe if you are stuck on the side of the road.
Make sure you also carry extra batteries. You never know when you will need the flashlight and how long the batteries will last. Having extra batteries will ensure you have enough power to give yourself some light in the dark.
External Phone Battery
Another battery you always want to have on hand is an external battery for your mobile phone. Especially if your car battery dies and you cannot charge your phone from your car, you will be happy to have an extra battery for your phone.
When you get stuck, you will likely need to make many calls or texts to friends and family. This activity will drain your battery rapidly. You absolutely do not want to be without your phone if you are in a dangerous situation. Having an external battery pack with you can help you keep your phone charged for much longer than you will need.
If you are stuck on the side of the road, especially at night, you want to alert other drivers of your presence. Having a reflective jacket to wear is a great way to signal other drivers that you are there and they need to be careful.
You should also carry reflective warning lights or battery-operated warning lights. Placing these on the road behind your car will let other drivers know you are there as they approach your vehicle. While you hope to never need these items, having them and not needing them is much better than the alternative.
Seat Belt Cutter and Window Breaker
Getting into an accident or a situation requiring you to quickly exit your vehicle can be terrifying to even think about, let alone experience. In truly harrowing situations, you may need to cut your seat belt or break a window.
Carrying a tool that lets you do these tasks will be crucial. In fact, many of these tools come in a combo set. The key is to make sure this tool is always within reach. If it is in the trunk or tucked far away, it will not do you any good.
It is also a good idea to carry a small toolset with you. You never know when you will need to tighten a screw, and having a screwdriver at your disposal can help you get back on the road quickly.
Tools can also come in handy if you need to help another vehicle. If you already have the tools with you, there is no need to head back home, leaving someone stranded in a potentially unsafe situation.
Even if you are not intending to travel in cold weather, blankets may be a good idea. If you get stranded overnight, you could experience cold temperatures, especially if you cannot start your car. Carrying a blanket will ensure that you stay warm.
Do not carry candles. Many people think having candles with them can help them stay warm and give them light, but they are a fire hazard. If you knock one over or you cover a blanket over a candle, a fire can quickly start, making an already hazardous situation even worse.
Spare Tire and Jack
Carrying a spare tire may seem unnecessary if you have roadside assistance. However, if you are traveling to a remote location, that assistance may take a long time to reach you. If you have a flat tire, you may need to change it yourself, so having a spare is your best bet.
Keep a jack in your trunk as well, and make sure you know how to use it safely. If you are lifting your car up off the ground, it is less stable and could roll onto you, causing additional injury.
Also, make sure the tire is properly inflated. You do not want to go through the effort of putting on your spare tire only to realize that it is flat and you still cannot go anywhere.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Provide Legal Help to Those Injured in Collisions
There are certain items you should keep in your car at all times. However, even if you have these safety items and drive safely, you could still get into an accident. If you have been hurt in a collision, one of our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers can help. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we protect the rights of injured drivers. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.