Kelley Blue Book: 10 things to keep in your car to stay safe on the road


The road may beckon as an alternative to a self-quarantine. If you decided to hit the road, you should be equipped to handle any emergencies you may encounter along the way. These few common-sense items are not that expensive and won’t take up much room in your trunk. And it could spell the difference between being stranded roadside or continuing on your merry way.

Here are 10 items that could help get you out of a jam:

Tire puncture sealant

Some people consider these things a joke, but they do work well on tires that go flat from simple punctures. A can of sealant may very well get you off a dangerous freeway shoulder in a jiffy. Look for a big can with a screw-type connector valve.

A $10 bill

It will save your pride on a day when your wallet contains no cash.

Lug wrench

A spare tire won’t do much good if you can’t get the lug nuts off the flat tire. But the lug wrenches that come with many cars aren’t big enough. Carry a full-size wrench, sold at most discount stores or auto parts stores.

Spare key

Even geniuses sometimes lock their keys in their car or lose them. Instead of humiliating yourself by admitting to the act, buy one of those nifty magnetic key cases that hides a spare key under the car.

Jumper cables

It’s amazing how often you will actually use or loan out these cables. They can be a lot quicker and cheaper than calling a tow truck. Be sure you buy a pair of high-capacity cables long enough for awkward situations.


These devices can help quite a bit in emergencies, especially types that have an additional flashing light. Be sure to periodically check to see if its working and carry a spare set of batteries just in case.

Also see: The best car tech for your next road trip

Tire gauge

At $100 a pop, good tires are worth caring for. You ought not rely on the gauges on service station air pumps. If you have a gauge, it’s easy to accurately check your tires in the morning before driving causes the pressure to increase.

Candy bars

A few chocolate bars are useful if you get stranded someday or have to hike home 25 miles after an earthquake. The same goes for a quart of water. Also, in the category of the big hike, you ought to carry a pair of boots and an extra sweater.

First aid kit 

In an emergency, having a first aid kit could spell the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major disaster. Check it periodically to make sure its contents are not dated.

Don’t miss: 12 best American road trips

Miscellaneous for the serious-minded

Disposable cigarette lighter, work gloves, rags, screwdrivers, pliers, a few feet of electrical wire and duct tape. Having these 10 items is one way to have peace of mind on that next road trip.

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