Cars can be fickle, and you never know when you’re going to get stuck in a traffic jam, lost on a back road or stranded because of a breakdown. In these situations, it pays to follow the Boy Scout motto and “be prepared.” But what exactly should you keep in your vehicle for emergency situations? Knowing what to have on hand can be helpful in a jam, and, in an extreme situation, could save your life and the lives of your family and friends. Here is a list of 12 items you should always have in your car.
12. A Spare Tire and Jack
While blowouts are less common today than ever before, and many car tires are capable of running for up to 50 miles or more when punctured, it is nevertheless important to have a spare tire and jack in your trunk in case you end up with a flat and are not able to drive on it. Most of us take for granted that there is a spare tire in the trunk of their car underneath the mat. But have you checked to confirm that this is the case? You may want to, especially if you bought your car second-hand. Many motorists are surprised to learn that they do not actually have a spare tire in their trunk. And, sadly, they usually learn this at the worst possible time—when their car is stuck on the side of a rural road surrounded by cornfields. Equally important is a trusty jack that you can use to raise the car and get the tire off. Of course, you should watch a YouTube video or two on how to properly change a car tire.