Driving is a responsibility that can present unique challenges. Carrying some extra gear in your vehicle can help ensure you stay safe and are ready to aid others who run into trouble. Even if you have roadside assistance, it can take hours before someone arrives to help. That's why it's important to be self-reliant and prepare ahead of time.
Here are some items that every well-prepared driver should keep in their vehicle:
1. Essential Fluids - Fluids keep your vehicle going year-round. Create a fluids kit that includes an emergency supply of motor oil, wiper fluid and antifreeze. Make sure that containers are tightly sealed to minimize spill risks. Also, make sure you know how to refill your car fluids so you are ready for any situation that occurs.
2. Backup Power - Extreme temperatures can be hard on batteries. A portable powerpack with an air compressor can be a lifesaver in emergency situations. The integrated battery will provide the power needed to get your battery started in any weather and it also eliminates the need for a jump-start from another car. You can also be sure you'll never be caught with a deflated tire if the air compressor is included.
3. Extra Hoses - Even though it's a relatively easy thing to fix, a blown hose can leave you stranded if you don't have an extra on hand. When your vehicle works hard - towing a heavy load, plowing through bad weather or over rough terrain - the strain on the engine can affect the integrity of hoses. Keep a few extra in your vehicle, especially if your car or truck has high mileage.
4. Auto Heater/Defroster - Changing temperatures can cause condensation or frost to form on the interior of windows. Be prepared with a defroster that plugs into your vehicle's 12-volt power port, which will quickly defrost windows and heat up a car, allowing you to be on your way faster.
5. Multipurpose Tool Set - In an emergency, a compact multipurpose tool can come in handy in a wide variety of situations. You can be prepared for the unexpected with a multipurpose tool that can tighten screws and bolts, maneuver small objects and more - all without having to carry a toolbox in your car. Get one that also includes an LED light.
Getting around - and getting the job done - requires caution and care at any time of the year. But with the right gear, it's possible to keep everything moving safely, no matter what emergency comes your way.