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SafetyBe Prepared: What to Carry in Your CarKeep the following items in your car in case you have a flat tire, are stranded by weather or have some other roadside emergency.Kids and Car SafetyWhether you're driving across country, taking the kids to Grandma's or just acting as local carpool captain, keeping your young passengers safe should be your number one priority. Child Car Seat Safety GuidelinesWith the wide selection of car seats on the market, how do you know which one to buy, and when to switch from one style to another? And how important are car seats anyway?Driving in the RainHere are some helpful hints on preparing your car and planning ahead for wet road travel.Driving in the WinterWinter driving can be hazardous. Be safe, be smart, by following these tips.Improve Your Night-Driving SkillsHere are some tips, courtesy of Bridgestone Winter Driving School, to improve your night-driving skills.Prevent Drowsy DrivingFeeling tired but unwilling to pull over and take a break? Driving drowsy is risking your life—and those of other drivers!12 Winter Driving Tips from ExpertsWe talked with snow plow drivers and auto technicians across the country – they see it happen and fix your car after that spin-out. Here's their advice:5 Safe Driving TipsThese tips are from police officers and those who have first-hand experiences with car-related emergencies. Pet Safety and Your CarWe've been bombarded with car-seat safety for children, airbag safety for infants, and seat-belt use for everyone. But how safe are your pets in your family vehicle? Animal safety in cars is critical to your best friend's safety. Share the Road Start Seeing MotorcyclesWe asked motorcyclists to share their pet peeves about drivers. Let's all do our part to share the road and get along.5 Common Winter Driving MistakesDo you make the following winter driving mistakes?
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Be Prepared: What to Carry in Your Car

Keep the following items in your car in case you have a flat tire, are stranded by weather or have some other roadside emergency.

In the Trunk

  • Cones, warning triangles or emergency flares
  • Empty gas can and can of motor oil
  • Fire extinguisher (5 lb. A-B-C type)
  • Car jack and jumper cables
  • Sealant for small leaks in tires
  • Spare tire (check the pressure when tires are rotated)
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Small shovel
  • Tow rope

In the Car

  • Cellular phone
  • Disposable camera (for photos in case of an accident)
  • First aid kit
  • Notepad and pen
  • Reflective vest
  • Tool box with screwdrivers, wrenches, fuses and a small hammer
  • Ice scraper
  • Battery-powered portable radio with spare batteries
  • Any emergency medication (bee sting kit or diabetic or heart meds, for example).
  • Car registration and owner's manual
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Bright-colored cloth (preferably red)
  • Compass and maps
  • Pocket knife and/or scissors, can opener
  • Rags or roll of paper towel
  • Contact numbers fo law enforcement agencies
  • Bottled water
  • List of contact numbers for law enforcement agencies
  • Pre-moistened towelettes
  • Road atlas, maps
  • Umbrella
  • Whistle (to attract attention)
  • WhatHappensNow.com car accident forms to fill out in case of an accident

WHN Tip: Batteries
Don't use high-end batteries (lithium, ultra, etc.) for flashlights. Too much power will burn out the flashlight's bulb.

In Your Wallet

  • Car and health insurance card with phone number of agent and company
  • Contact information for friend or relative (in case of accident or injury). Add an Emergency Information Sheet (name, address, allergies/conditions)
  • Emergency cash (at least $20 and quarters for telephone in case cell service is down)

WHN Tip: In Case of Emergency (ICE)
In the event of an emergency or after an accident, emergency personnel will use your cell phone to look for "ICE": who to contact In Case of an Emergency.
Plan ahead: In your cell phone contact list, type the word "ICE" followed by the name (ICE Jerry) and phone number of the person to call in case of an emergency. You can enter multiple entries if you want, (ICE 1, 2, 3).
Make sure your contact person has your key health information: (allergies, medication info, condition information, etc).
Do this for all members of your family and tell your friends about the importance of ICE.

For You and Your Family

  • Blankets
  • Change of clothes for each family member
  • High-enegry snack food (nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, granola bars)
  • Cards and games to pass the time
  • Duct tape
  • Small card with
    • information about family medical allergies or conditions
    • emergency phone numbers of family and friends

For Your Kids

Place a bright sticker on the child's car seat with:

  • Name child responds to
  • Parents' or guardians' names and contact information
  • Two names/best phone numbers of local friends/relatives in case neither parent is able to care for the child
  • List "Medical Must Knows":
  • Any allergies the child may have, especially to medication
  • Any medical conditions the child may have or have had in the past (such as diabetes, asthma etc.)
  • Insurance information if applicable
  • For a young baby, type of formula (if formula fed)
  • Name and phone number of child's pediatrician

Anything else you would like medical personnel to know about your child (fears she may have, favorite song that may help calm her, anything you can think of that would be helpful)

Read our Child Car Seat Safety Guidelines and Kids and Car Safety articles for more car safety tips.

Winter Items

To prepare for winter hazards, consider adding these items, especially if you are driving during snowy weather.

Inside Your Car

  • Air-activated hand warmer
  • Copy of Driving in the Winter article
  • Matches and 'survival' candles in a three-pound coffee can (to warm hands, heat a drink or use as an emergency light)
  • Metal cup (for melting snow and drinking)
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags
  • Extra winter clothing (hats, jackets, mittens, and boots)

In the Trunk

  • Chains, snow tires
  • Bag of sand - helps tires with traction
  • Snow shovel
  • Windshield washer fluid rated -40º proof

    Want more? Read these top tips from experienced mechanic Lauren Fix, the Car Coach, about the top 5 things to have in your car:

    In Case of Emergency

    Print and store in your car: What To Do If You're In a Car Accident in case of an accident

    A special thank you to the industry professionals, lawyers, insurance agents, first responders and people who gave us their time, insight and real-life advice.

    Other Car Pages
    Safety12 Winter Driving Tips from Experts

    We talked with snow plow drivers and auto technicians across the country – they see it happen and fix your car after that spin-out. Here's their advice:

     Read More
    5 Common Winter Driving Mistakes

    Do you make the following winter driving mistakes?

     Read More
    5 Safe Driving Tips

    These tips are from police officers and those who have first-hand experiences with car-related emergencies.

     Read More
    Be Prepared: What to Carry in Your Car

    Keep the following items in your car in case you have a flat tire, are stranded by weather or have some other roadside emergency.

     Read More
    Child Car Seat Safety Guidelines

    With the wide selection of car seats on the market, how do you know which one to buy, and when to switch from one style to another? And how important are car seats anyway?

     Read More
    Driving in the Rain

    Here are some helpful hints on preparing your car and planning ahead for wet road travel.

     Read More
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     Read More
    Improve Your Night-Driving Skills

    Here are some tips, courtesy of Bridgestone Winter Driving School, to improve your night-driving skills.

     Read More
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    Whether you're driving across country, taking the kids to Grandma's or just acting as local carpool captain, keeping your young passengers safe should be your number one priority.

     Read More
    Pet Safety and Your Car

    We've been bombarded with car-seat safety for children, airbag safety for infants, and seat-belt use for everyone. But how safe are your pets in your family vehicle? Animal safety in cars is critical to your best friend's safety.

     Read More
    Prevent Drowsy Driving

    Feeling tired but unwilling to pull over and take a break? Driving drowsy is risking your life—and those of other drivers!

     Read More
    Share the Road Start Seeing Motorcycles

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