What Items Do I Need in My Car in Case of a Car Accident?
Nobody likes to think about being involved in an accident. Even a small fender-bender, where injuries are not serious and damages are not severe, can ruin your day. Because the idea of being involved in an accident is so unpleasant, many people may not plan for an accident, and as such, may not be prepared for one if it happens.
While thinking about being involved in a crash may be uncomfortable and even a bit morbid, knowing what to do if you are involved in a car accident can help you to stay calm when a crash happens, treat injuries, report your crash, and even improve your chances of recovering your full settlement amount later on.
Consider this list of 20 things you should keep in your car in case of an accident.
20 Things to Keep in Your Car in Case You Are Involved in an Accident
1) Spare Tire
A spare tire is a must-have item anytime you are driving, and can come in handy whether you are involved in an accident or just suffer a flat when on the road. It is important that you purchase a spare tire that is designed to be used with your type of car, and remember, “donuts”(mini-spares) aren’t designed to be driven on for great distances.
2) Tire Iron and Jack
In order to put on your spare tire, you will need a tire iron and jack. A tire iron helps you to remove the lug nuts that hold the wheel on the car, and the jack is used to lift your vehicle so that removal is possible.
3) Tire Pressure Gauge
Tire pressure is very important. If your tires are not pressurized correctly, you’re at risk of a tire blowout. It is important that you carry a tire pressure gauge at all times, and know how to use it.
4) Tire Inflator
If you need to put a new tire on your vehicle, or if the pressure in your tires is too low to drive, you will need a tire inflator. These devices can be stored easily in your truck, and are actually very affordable to buy. Tire inflators come in handy any time your tires are running low.
5) Tire Sealer
Tire sealant can prevent and repair flats in a jiffy. The best brands are those that promise to last for at least a year, are non-flammable, and will withstand multiple punctures. If your tires are punctured in a crash, tire sealer can get you back on the road again.
6) Jumper Cables
Jumper cables are useful when your car’s battery dies. Remember that to use jumper cables, you will need another working vehicle. It is important that you know how to connect jumper cables correctly to avoid injury.
7) Seatbelt-Cutter and Window-Breaker
Sometimes, escaping a vehicle is essential following a crash. For example, in the event that the car is on fire, or is submerged in water, or is located in an otherwise dangerous area, getting out of the car is a must. If you are unable to open your car door or unbuckle your seatbelt, a seatbelt-cutter and window-breaker tool can save your life. This should obviously be stored somewhere that is reachable and accessible, such as your glove box, console or map pocket.
8) Reflective Triangle
Reflective triangles are helpful when you are involved in a crash and you want to notify other drivers of the accident so that they will slow their speed and drive around you. Reflective triangles are inexpensive, can be easily stored in the trunk of your car, and can prove handy in directing traffic, especially when lighting is poor.
9) Car Document Organizer
If you are involved in a crash, law enforcement will need to see your vehicle’s registration, insurance card and other important documents. To ensure that these are readily at hand and don’t get lost in the glovebox or console, consider purchasing a car document holder
10) Fire Extinguisher
Fire is a real threat with gasoline and other combustible materials present and potentially leaking after a crash, plus many potential sources of ignition. Keeping a small fire extinguisher in your vehicle could save a life in case of a fiery crash.
We’ve all heard terrifying stories about drivers who crashed into a deep ditch, heavily wooded area, overgrown swamp or other obscured area – and no one noticed they were there for hours or even days. You can avoid this fate by keeping a simple and inexpensive whistle in your car that you can use to alert first responders or passersby to your location.
12) Paper Towels
Paper towels are amazing for a number of things after a car accident. For example, when you are in a crash, you may slam on the brakes suddenly or hit a vehicle with enough impact that any liquids in your vehicle – such as the coffee you were very much enjoying – spill. Paper towels can help you to clean it up. Paper towels can also be used to wipe up blood, clean your hands after changing a tire, or dry tears. Having a roll on hand is always advised.
13) First Aid Kit
The benefits of a first aid kit in the event that you are in a crash are obvious. A first aid kit provides band aids, antiseptic wipes, gauze, and more if you or anyone in your vehicle is injured. You should also purchase a first aid kit how-to booklet, which can give you some basic information regarding the administration of aid.
A flashlight can light your way in the event that you are involved in a crash during the nighttime, can be used to signal for help, and can be used to illuminate injuries or small details.
If you are involved in a crash, you may be in need of some type of service that requires money. For example, if you forgot your cellphone, you may need to find the nearest payphone. Or, if you are far from home, you may need to buy a room at a motel for the evening. In any case, having cash on hand is helpful.
A lighter or some matches may prove helpful if your crash is in a rural area and you need to signal for help. Keep in mind that this is best when you also have flares on hand, so consider keeping both within your vehicle for emergencies. Remember, however, that gas is flammable, so be very careful when lighting a flame after a crash.
17) Water Bottles
Having water on hand can be useful, and not just for drinking (although, if it is hot outside or you are without help for a significant amount of time, you will certainly benefit from some H20). Water can also be used to clean a wound, or cool down an engine. Consider keeping a large case in your trunk.
18) Non-perishable Food
It is smart to have some non-perishable food on hand, and even more so when driving in areas where convenience stores and restaurants are far apart. This is especially true if you have a health condition like diabetes or low blood sugar, where eating regularly is essential. Use your own non-perishable food containers to store healthy items.
No one wants to get caught in the rain without an umbrella, especially after being involved in a crash. Always have one in your glove compartment or trunk for comfort when it really matters.
20) Car Phone/Device Charger
If you are involved in a crash, you will need a cellphone to report the accident and call for medical assistance. You can also use a phone to take photos of crash evidence. If you don’t have a phone on you, or if your phone’s battery is dead, you could be in trouble. Always keep your phone on you (but out of sight when actually driving!), and keep an extra charger handy.
What Should I Do If I Get in an Accident?
A car emergency kit that includes all of the items listed above is a part of being a prepared driver. In addition to knowing things to keep in your car and car essentials, it is also important to know what to do if you are involved in a crash.
At the law offices of Buckman & Buckman, we recommend that you report your accident to the police as soon as possible, seek medical care, report your crash to your insurance company, and call our law offices. Our car accident attorneys are committed to working hard for our clients, and will exceed your expectations by always putting your needs first.
You can request your free consultation from us online or by phone today.