Driving is a convenient way to get from one place to another, but it has its risks and can be dangerous. Anything can happen when driving, and you can’t always predict what type of danger may be around the corner. Most people are able to get where they need to go without incident, but there can always be an accident, a flat tire, or an empty gas tank that changes plans on occasion. You can’t prevent an incident from occurring in every situation, but you can expect the unexpected by always being prepared. Here are seven items, as recommended by a DC auto accident lawyer, that you should always keep in your car — they could save your life, or at least make it a lot simpler in case of an emergency.
Not all accidents are minor, unfortunately. If you’re involved in any type of accident, you should have your identification cards on hand. While your license is probably on your person anyway, you should keep copies of your medical identification cards, your insurance cards, and your emergency contact information both in your wallet and in your car. This could help save your life if you’re unresponsive following an accident. For example, if you’re unconscious and need medical attention, a doctor might not know you’re allergic to a specific medication without learning your name, finding an ID card, or speaking to a loved one. Your life could depend on having this information on hand in the car.
If you run out of gas in the middle of a snowstorm, and it’s unsafe to leave the vehicle, you’re in a bit of a bind. At this time, it would be crucial to maintain warmth to keep you from freezing. Keeping a blanket in the trunk is a simple way to prevent this possibility. It may also help to keep gloves, a hat, and anything else you could need to stay warm in case of an emergency when no help is near or accessible.
Fresh water is the key to life, and being stranded anywhere without it is dangerous. Your body can do without food for several days at a time, but you must have water to survive. Be sure to have enough on hand in the car to stay hydrated for several days. If you’re planning to drive with family members or others, stock enough to keep everyone safe in case of an emergency.
Accidents can occur at any time of day or night, and light may be helpful. Many people ignore this advice because they have a flashlight on their smart phone. But consider what happens if your car battery dies, and your cell phone battery dies with it. You’re left without a flashlight in the dark. Keep at least one flashlight and extra batteries in your car’s emergency kit.
First Aid Kit
Whether someone falls and scrapes their knee or you’re involved in an accident and need to tend to lacerations, a first aid kit should be mandatory in all vehicles. Make sure yours includes gloves, saline, peroxide, cleaning agents, gauze pads, bandages, butterfly bandages, and towels. These simple items could mean the difference between life and death.
Sometimes your battery dies, and you’d be surprised how few people keep jumper cables in their car. Batteries experience issues all the time, and no one wants to sit around and wait for their car’s emergency service company to dispatch help. Sometimes, you will come across someone who has a dead battery and needs help. It’s always a good idea to keep jumper cables in the car.
Your cell phone battery probably dies regularly if you use it as frequently as most people. For safety reasons, it may be a good idea to keep an extra cell phone in the car, in the off position to preserve the battery. Use that old cell phone you didn’t think you needed, because even inactive cell phones allow users to call 911 at any time.
Your safety is important, and that’s why keeping the right items in the car is helpful. Knowing how to stay safe in any situation is sometimes the difference between staying safe and alive when something unexpected occurs.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their added insight into elder care law.