Essential Items to Keep in Your Vehicle

Insuring your vehicle is incredibly important (and it’s the law!). Staying safe on the roads is more than making sure your insurance coverage is active. Before you even leave your driveway, you should make sure your vehicle is stocked with the essential items to keep you and your loved ones safe, no matter the length of your drive. 

Woman setting up essential reflective triangle on road.

Use the following categories as a checklist to get your vehicle properly stocked for safety in the new year and beyond. 

1. Essentials 

These are the basic requirements to store in your glove compartment or center console, which is why this is first on our list. Vehicle essentials begin with legal paperwork, like your vehicle registration and proof of insurance, as well as the owner’s manual, your emergency contacts and phone numbers, and a small notepad and pen. 

Essentials also include those things you should have handy for any type of trip, like your toll road transponder attached to your windshield (or extra change for tolls if you prefer to go old school), as well as any necessary adapters and chargers for your phone and GPS. Again, if you’re less of a technology fan and prefer maps, slip an updated road atlas into the back pocket of your passenger seat.  

2. Safety Items 

Safety items are equally important to stock in your vehicle. Should you be in an accident, get stranded in a bad weather incident, or suddenly break down, these items will keep you safe and help others help (or find) you. 

  • flashlight
  • jumper cables
  • reflective triangles
  • roadside flares
  • spare tire, wheel wrench and car jack
  • bottled water and non-perishable snacks
  • WD-40
  • tire pressure gauge
  • first aid kit
  • blanket or extra clothing

These items can be stored in a basket or crate in your trunk area. 

Depending on where you live, it might be wise to also include weather-related safety items in your safety stash, including a snow brush and ice scraper, kitty litter, an umbrella, a sunshade, extra windshield wiper fluid and a small shovel. 

3. Items For Your Family

It’s like you have most of these items in your vehicle already, but a new year is a great 

time to check that you’re stocked. 

  • Adults: blankets, cleaning wipes and small trash bags for pit-stops or meals eaten on the road, extra toilet paper, wet wipes, stain remover wipes/pen, medication as needed (like antacids or pain reliever)
  • Kids: car seats, booster seats, activity books, blankets
  • Pets: safety harness or crate, toys for the park, plastic bags for dog doo-doo, old towel to wipe muddy paws

4. Miscellaneous 

These items are suggestions that  might make your vehicle a little more comfortable, particularly if you spend a lot of time commuting or traveling. Consider stocking lip balm, napkins, gum or mints, tissues, makeup, lotion, sunglasses, and even a small wastecan. I’ve seen moms repurpose a refillable plastic cereal container to fit between seats as a trash can for snack wrappers and the like.

5. Extra COVID-19 protection 

While we continue to face this pandemic, it’s wise to have additional products in your vehicle should anyone in your family forget something, or for disinfecting purposes after visiting a store. 

  1. Hand sanitizer 
  2. Disinfecting wipes 
  3. Face masks 
  4. Disposable gloves

Each driver has different needs, so customize your essentials to give you peace of mind while you’re on the road. Similarly, auto insurance should be customized, too. Contact Michiana Insurance – La Porte with any insurance coverage questions. We’re here to make your life easier, on the road and off!