When you're out traveling, you never know what emergencies or unexpected events might occur. Even though it's impossible to predict what could happen on any given day, being as prepared as you can will certainly go a long way towards your safety and that of other drivers as well.
Once you know you've got a well-stocked car, you'll enjoy driving around that much more. It's not about expecting the worst but rather preparing for all occasions and incidents to the best of your ability. With that in mind, here are just eight car essentials to get your safety checklist started.
1. Spare Tyre
You should always ensure your tyres have good tread depth and are properly inflated. However, if the worst does happen you must have a spare tyre ready to go. When you check your tyre pressure, which you should do regularly, do not forget to check the spare tyre as well. Make sure you know how to change it so you're not caught out in an emergency. Also make sure you have the tools that you require to change the tyre. At a minimum you need a good quality jack and wheel nut spanner or wheel brace.
When you get a flat tyre or breakdown it always seems to be in the worst place at the worst time. If you break down a t night you must have a torch. It is also good for safety. Make sure it is in working order and that you replace the batteries regularly.
3. First Aid Kit
A well stocked first aid kit is essential, as is some basic knowledge of first aid. It should have all the basics, such as band aids, plasters, cotton swabs, tweezers, scissors, and an over the counter type pain relief medication..
As well as the tools required to change a flat tyre, it is worth carrying a basic tool kit. The kit should include screw drivers, spanners, pliers, electrical tape and matches. A Swiss Army Knife or similar style multi tool is also a good idea.
5. Jumper leads
How many times have you experienced a flat battery or seen someone else with one. A simple set of jumper leads can solve the problem very quickly and very easily. Remember, connect the positive of one battery to the positive of the other battery and the negative to the negative.
6. Tyre gauge
Correct tyre pressure is important for the performance of your car. Incorrect tyre pressure can affect handling and braking and reduce the safety of your car. Correct tyre pressure is also important to optimise the life of your tyres. Service station tyre pressure gauges are notoriously unreliable, if you can find one that works at all. Tyre gauges are compact and easy to use.
Manufacturers usually recommend the appropriate tyre pressure. The manufacturers recommendations will be in the Service Manual and are often on a label somewhere near the opening of the driver door.
8. Triangular warning reflectors
These will help to ensure you're not hit by another car if you have to stop due to a flat tyre or other emergency. After you have pulled over, place several of these on the road at varying distances away from your car, to give other drivers plenty of advance warning that you're up ahead.
Always carry water.