Most people, especially younger ones, think they are invincible behind the wheel of a car, truck, or any other sort of automobile that roams the streets. However, in reality, no one is truly safe from an accident. Some of the items on my list are cheap, and should be kept in your car for emergency situations. These items aren’t necessarily in any sort of order since they each can be used for different emergency situations, but these are the top five I believe can be vital for your future.
1. A Flash Camera
The camera is an item a lot of people do not leave in their car, but they truly should. If you get into a car accident, you’re going to want evidence of the accident. A picture is worth a thousand words, so simply grab a disposable one from a local convenient store and leave it in your car somewhere. Do not use the camera for anything else, you may need all the pictures you can get in an accident. When taking pictures, capture images of the damage to both cars, the positioning of the cars if you can, surrounding landmarks and/or stores, and marks on the road from the crash if there are any. (This can show the other person may have been speeding when the accident happened). Also, I suggest taking about four or five pictures of your car prior to any accident to show its original state. Take a picture of each side of your car, and maybe an extra of the top of the car as well.
Leaving a camera in your car can fight off people who try to claim false stories. Pictures are plain evidence — they can’t really be tampered with after processed at a photo lab unless you use a computer and/or have graphical design skills. Either way, don’t tamper with the pictures, you will most likely get caught.
Also, be sure to get a flash camera in case the incident occurs at night. It’s best to get some pictures rather than none at all.
If you have a digital camera with you, that’s even better due to higher storage capacity, more precise detail in pictures (usually), and some even have night vision mode in case an emergency occurs during the night.
2. A Bottle of H2O
Everyone knows that you need water to survive. What if you get stranded in the middle of nowhere and have to walk miles on end to get to a gas station in the blazing heat? Having an extra water bottle can’t hurt. If there is a fire in your car, I do not recommend trying to put it out yourself with the water. This is because water can actually help spread certain fires (chemical causation). If a cigarette hits your seat, that’s a different story, you can put it out with the small amount of water present in a water bottle. You can carry a fire extinguisher in your car if you want to, but I believe you should leave the fire-fighting to the professionals.
3. A Cell Phone
Believe it or not, there are still people out there that do not own a cell phone. Cell phones provide communication to people far away from you, so this item is obviously essential to get in contact with family members, friends, emergency personnel, your insurance company, and so on. Most cell phones these days have camera phones inside of them. However, the quality of the pictures from a cell phone are not that high, so I suggest keeping your hands on a disposable one instead. If you have a digital camera that is even better, for the reasons I explained at the end of part one.
Be sure that every time you leave your home that your cell phone is charged fully. If your cell phone dies in the middle of calling someone because you’re in a pickle, that’s not good. I suggest carrying one of those new cell phone handheld chargers just in case. These cell phone chargers are relatively cheap, and are sold at local convenient stores and pharmacies.
Also, do not drive while talking on your cell phone, especially in traffic. Talking on the phone in traffic heightens the risk of an accident. So please, be safe, don’t talk on your cell phone while driving.
4. A First Aid Kit
A First Aid Kit can help provide minimal emergency assistance while emergency professionals are on their way. If you wish to make your own, put in it all the essentials such as bandaids, antibiotic cream, gauze pads, rubbing alcohol, and some other things. Under this section, I would also like to recommend learning basic emergency manuevers such as CPR, which can make or break a life in an emergency situation. Keep the First Aid Kid somewhere dry so the contents don’t get wet from moisture in the car.
5. Basic Winter Needs
I couldn’t pick one thing to list as the main topic, so I decided to put a bunch here. If it’s heavily snowing and you get stuck in the snow, you may be stuck there for awhile. There are parts of the world that are very… open, so if you get stuck you may be there for a long time, as stated before. This is where the cell phone comes in good use. But what if you have no signal, or have a long waiting time until someone gets to you? Have these items handy: a blanket, a small snow shovel, an ice scraper, gasoline antifreeze, extra windshield wiper fluid, and possibly ice melting salt. If you get stuck and your heat’s out for some reason, a blanket is a good way to keep warm. Sure, the car will block you from the wind chills, but the car is bound to get cold again while not running for a long period of time. The snow shovel and ice melting salt are two tools to help get yourself out of a deep situation. I have had a situation where a bus I was on got caught in a little pack of snow, and we simply dug it out. Adding salt to the mix just helps the snow and ice melt even faster. The ice scraper is an item everyone should have in their car to scrape ice off of their windows and mirrors to increase their visibility when driving. The gasline antifreeze is very cheap, and prevents your car’s gasline from freezing due to cold temperatures. Simply add one bottle everytime you fill your car up at the pump. The extra windshield wiper fluid is to help get other ice off of the windshield, and get excess snow off as well.
Overall, these are very important items I believe everyone should have in their car in case of an emergency. There are many more items out there you can get as well, but these are some people forget to put in their cars, and some of them are life savers (literally). I wish everyone a save trip tp wherever they travel next.
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