Most drivers have probably heard about the important items you should keep in your car in case of an emergency. (If not, check out this article on building the ultimate emergency car kit).The list of items that could be useful as part of a car emergency kit is long — and if you want to have any passengers in your car, most of that kit will probably need to stay in your trunk.
But, in some situations, you may not want to go all the way to your trunk to get a needed item (or you may not have time). Here are a few items you may want to think about keeping within easy reaching distance of the driver’s seat:
The contact information for your roadside assistance service should be kept somewhere easily accessible in case of emergency. If your car breaks down, you don’t want to waste time looking for the number.
Similarly, you should also keep a copy of your insurance card in your glove compartment, as well as in your wallet. That way, if you’re ever in an accident, you’ll be able to quickly contact your insurance company.
“But I programmed the numbers into my phone!” you say. Keep a hard copy in your glove box, anyway — you never know when you’ll forget your cell at home and need to borrow someone else’s to call for help.
A cellphone can be an important lifeline, and keeping a car charger handy can help you make sure it’s always charged-up when you need it. Keeping your charger in your glove compartment can make it easier for you to remember to plug your phone in to charge while you’re driving. (But wait to make those phone calls and send those texts until you’re safely parked!)
Having an umbrella doesn’t seem like a big deal — until it’s raining cats and dogs and yours is in the trunk. Keep a pocket-sized one in the glove box for easy access.
You never know when this might come in handy — especially if you often travel with kids. First aid kits usually come with a variety of adhesive bandages, pain relievers, antiseptics and other items you may need in a pinch, and they’re always a good idea to have on hand.
If your car didn’t come with a built-in navigation system, and you don’t have GPS on your cellphone, a portable global positioning system can be an extremely useful tool — and it doesn’t do you any good in the trunk. Whether you’re driving in your own city and need to find a detour around an unexpected traffic jam or you’re on a road trip through parts unknown, these gadgets will guide you turn by turn in a pleasant robotic voice. One plus of the portable GPS is that when your trip is done and you’re safely parked, you can remove it from its dashboard- or windshield-mounted holder and hide it in your glove box — so potential thieves are none the wiser. And, make sure you keep that charger handy.
Breaking your own car windows probably isn’t something you plan on doing. But, if you have an accident and somehow drive into a body of water, having a tool handy may allow you to break the glass and escape to safety.
According to Popular Mechanics, if your car ends up in the water, your best bet is to quickly roll your windows down and swim to safety. But if you can’t — if the water has shorted your electric windows, for instance — you’ll need to shatter the windows. Specific tools are made for this purpose; one popular option is the LifeHammer, which features a blade to cut jammed seat belts and a metal head you can use to break a window. It may not seem a likely scenario, but being prepared is always a good idea.
The last thing we’ll suggest keeping in your glove compartment is (shockingly) gloves. Aside from the obvious use — to keep your hands from freezing while you’re scraping those icy windows — your gloves may also come in handy to protect your hands from shattering glass if you have to use the window-breaker in the above scenario.
Are there other items you like to keep in your glove box? Share in the comments section below.