It seems almost every day there is a major news item about someone stranded, hurt or killed in a car accident caused by an unexpected storm or other unavoidable occurrence. Protect your family now with these low-cost items that can keep you and your loved ones safe;
1. Super Jack. Just a flat tire can become a disaster if the driver and passengers can’t work the jack to lift the car. Invest in a super jack.
2. Fix a Flat. This old standby now comes in three size cans to suit the tire size of your vehicle (compact, mid-size or large). Just connect the can to the tire and when you drive the tire will inflate long enough to get to an emergency station or repair shop. Available at most auto stores or go to www.fixaflat.com.
3. Emergency Kit. Flares, jumper cables and even a blanket are important to have on hand if your car breaks down. AAA’s emergency roadside kit has all of those plus easily forgotten items such as electrical tape and a screwdriver. Visit www.aaa.com.
4. Emergency hammer. When your car goes into water or otherwise is damaged so windows and doors don’t open, it might be impossible to escape. Invest in an emergency hammer that not only breaks car glass but will cut seatbelts to free passengers. Available in many auto stores and online including www.amazon.com and www.lifehammer.com.
5. Back up auto alert. Invest in a sonar system that sounds an alarm if a person or object moves behind your car. Most allow you to adjust the signals based on how close the car is to the object. Visit Microfiber-products-online.com.
6. Safety flashers and triangles. It’s imperative that a disabled auto is seen by other drivers. The Safety Flasher from BMW (about $60) can be easily set up and the light can be adjusted from flashing to continuous.
7. Shop rags. These low-cost rags can be used for everything from wiping grease off your hands to kneeling on in a puddle of water. Be sure to keep some in your car. Contact: Any auto supply store or www.theautochannel.com.
8. Bungee cords. If your hood or trunk latches unexpectedly break, you’ll be glad to have these strong cords that can hold them closed so you can drive. Contact: Any auto supply store or www.walmart.com.
9. Pet auto safety barriers. No matter how well-behaved your dog or cat a sudden shift in the car can distract you and injure both you and the animal. Invest in a pet carrier or even an auto pet barrier such as a nylon net that prevents animals from moving to the front Shop them at petautosafety.com.
10. Mechanical pencil and paper. This will come in handy if you need to jot a note to leave in the car or mark down a phone number to call. Pens freeze, so it’s best not to rely on them.
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