Survival on the Road: These Six Items Might Save Your Life

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By Marcus Fernandez

Road travel is an essential part of daily life for most people. It’s also one of the most dangerous parts. You probably already protect yourself by wearing a seatbelt and obeying traffic laws, but there are more steps you can take to assure your survival on the road. The following auto safety kit items will help get you home safely.

1. First Aid Kit

Having a good first aid kit can make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. If you don’t want to purchase one of the many pre-packaged kits available for sale, make sure that you prepare one that can meet all the needs you are qualified to handle. This means including disinfectant or alcohol wipes to clean wounds, tweezers for removing debris from an injury, band-aids, gauze and tape for large wounds, at least one compression bandage to help with sprains/tissue injuries, aloe cream for burns, aspirin for treatment of heart attacks and for pain relief, and any other items you think you may need.

2. Waterproof Blanket

Foil survival blankets are readily available online and often come packaged in premium pre-made first aid kits. When folded, most are about the size of a human palm; this small size makes them ideal to carry in a dashboard compartment. Foil blankets can help keep shock victims warm, keep survivors warm if an emergency situation occurs in a cold climate, and even be used to signal for help. The highly reflective surface is eye-catching for passing helicopters if you find yourself in need of a dramatic rescue, or can be used to signal emergency workers on the ground if you find yourself in a densely wooded or otherwise difficult to navigate area. 

3. Seatbelt Cutter/Window Breaking Multi-tool

Time is critical in an emergency, especially when facing danger from fire or water after a crash. A survival multi-tool with a hammer and blade can make escaping from a sinking or burning car quick and relatively simple. You can use the blade to cut the seatbelts of those trapped in the car and the small hammer to shatter a window for egress. This is especially critical for a crash where a vehicle is submerged, as water pressure can make opening a door impossible. Keep the multi-tool mounted or inside a center console so you can easily access it when you need it. 

4. Flashlight

Car crashes are significantly more likely to occur at night than during the day. Because of this, it pays to be prepared to deal with the aftermath of a crash after dark. One key item that can help with this is a quality flashlight. Tactical flashlights are ideal for this, as they can provide both bright, steady light and flashing light patterns. Steady light is crucial for navigating an environment that could be littered with broken glass, sharp metal, and other hazards from a damaged vehicle, as well as any natural obstacles that occur. A flashing light increases your visibility to others on the road and functions as a signal for help. This cool flashlight has a window-breaking hammer and seatbelt cutter built into it. A 3-in-1 multi tool.

5. Foldable shovel

A shovel might seem like a strange item to keep in your car, but it can come in handy in a variety of emergency situations. A standard foldable shovel takes up very little trunk space and can be used in most situations where your car is spinning its wheels. You can quickly remove snow from behind your tires in the winter months and dig yourself out of a ditch if you find your car stuck off-road. Avoid spinning your wheels in the dirt, as this will only get your car rooted deeper in the soil; instead, use the shovel to clear a layer of soil extending out a few feet from your tires. Dig about as deep as the tire, then more shallowly, giving your tires a clear path onto level ground. 

6. Jumper Cables and Power Bank

Whether you have a new car or an old one, everyone should have a set of jumper cables in their vehicle. This is an essential item for survival on the road. At some point, you are bound to leave a car light on (especially if you have kids) or leave a door open. You’ll return to your car hours later and find that your battery is dead and your car won’t start. Sometimes your car battery can die when it’s really cold out too.

If you didn’t have jumper cables, you’d be stuck. Imagine if this happened when you were alone, outside of cell service, and in cold temperatures. It could turn into a dangerous situation. Now, if you had regular jumper cables, you would still need another car with a running engine to jump start your vehicle. But what if that’s not an option? That’s why we suggest carrying jumper cables with a power bank, like this one. This will allow you to jumpstart your car independently, without the aid of another vehicle.

Plus, it’s always a great moment when you can help someone in need of a jumpstart.

Make Your Survival on the Road Kit Now

Keeping these items in your car may take a bit of planning, but once they’re there you can drive with the peace of mind that comes with being prepared for anything. You never know when you’re going to need a survival kit but you’ll be so thankful when you do and it saves your life.

Don’t delay getting your survival on the road kit made and in your vehicle. Do it this week!

Related: Boating Safety: Tips for Staying Safe on the Water