Safety First! 15 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Car

Chilled water

Chilled water | Source: Lexus

For many Americans, the glovebox and center console storage bin are just places to put their registration and insurance info, along with a collage of random shit that just sort of ends up there. Hell, the glovebox was named so for good reason, yet how many people nowadays do you see breaking out leather driving gloves prior to heading down to the local Walgreens?

Over the years, gloveboxes have become these ceremonial burial grounds for the crap you never need or could ever possibly use in case of an emergency. The days of preparing for the worst are gone thanks to things like cell phones, OnStar, and S.O.S. road-side assistance buttons on rearview mirrors. Historical artifacts typically found inside an average daily driven automobile now include things like old packets of mustard, unpaid parking tickets, tire gauges that don’t work properly, and a scratched mixed CD from 2002 that conveniently skips every time Sisqo’s “Thong Song” comes on.

Porsche race car with cargo carrier

Porsche race car with cargo carrier | Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

But some of us don’t enjoy the thought of being completely dependent on other people when things go sour on the open road, and the old saying about how it’s “better to have something and not need it, than need it and not have it” comes to mind. Maybe our grandfathers had more of an influence on us than we’d like to admit, or perhaps the thought of complete societal collapse weighs heavy over our heads. No matter the reason, being prepared for a multitude of scenarios is never a bad idea.

So after looking over our options, we came up with 15 things every traveler needs to have in their car. Remember, even though you can call for assistance when a disaster strikes, being able to take immediate action on your own can mean the difference between life and death in certain scenarios. Naturally, it’s always best to gauge what kind of environment you will be driving in most often, as things like emergency snow gear aren’t all that necessary if you live in Athens, Georgia. So pack appropriately and remember that being properly prepared can mean the difference between being a good Samaritan or just another helpless traveler, stranded on the side of the road.

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