Written on Jun 19, 2018 2:54:52 PM
20 Things Every Florida Driver Should Have in Their Car
Topics: safe driving, driver education, driving tips, new driver, Only in Florida, driver safety
If the interior of your car consists of empty cans of soda and fast food wrappers, but little else, it may be time to reevaluate your vehicle inventory! Without further ado, below is our list of 20 things every Florida driver should have in their car.
1. Jumper cables
Leave that little dome light on during the 8-hour work day, and you could find yourself with a dead battery when you’re about to head home. The only thing worse than that? Asking everyone coming out of the office if they have jumper cables.
2. Tire Changing Gear
A spare tire, tire iron, tire jack, and a lug wrench are essential. But these days, many manufacturers are doing away with all of this, meaning you’ll need to purchase them on your own or rely on #3 (which, while helpful, can’t do anything in the event of a complete blowout).
3. Tire Sealant, Inflator, and Pressure Gauge
For around $7, nothing beats the peace of mind knowing that in the event of a slow leak, you can give your tire a shot of Slime or Fix-a-Flat and get back on your way. When it’s time to get air, you need to know how much air to put in. Too little or too much is a common cause of a blowouts.
4. Spare Set of Prescription Glasses/Contacts Lenses
For those of us with less than 20/20 vision, a lost contact lens can be a deal breaker when it comes to driving. A spare set of glasses or contacts can keep you road-ready.
5. Duct Tape
From repairs to reattachments, there are so many uses for duct tape! Check out this list of 38 ways duct tape can be a vehicle life-saver.
6. Gas Can
There’s nothing worse than running out of gas—except walking miles to a gas station only to find out they don’t sell gas cans. Save yourself the trouble by keeping your own can in your truck (but not full of gas, as that could be a highly flammable spill risk).
7. Windshield Sun Visor
The Florida sun can turn our vehicles into ovens. And those hot rays have even been known to cause minor burns on legs (if you’ve ever been wearing shorts and sat on a quarter you know what I’m talking about!)
8. Wiper Fluid
It seems to run out at the worst times. Those light Florida rains can leave spots and streaks, obstructing your vision, and then there’s love bug season; a windshield can quickly become a messy love bug graveyard.
9. Window Breaker/Seatbelt Cutting Tool
Because you just never know. In an accident, doors and windows may refuse to open, and seatbelts can become jammed. In Florida, we’re also surrounded by a lot of water, and vehicles running off the road into water happens more frequently than you may think. A vehicle can become submerged quickly, making it hard to open doors and causing electric windows to fail.
10. Fire Extinguisher
Engines can catch fire, so it’s better to be prepared! There are small portable ones available perfect for the car.
11. First Aid Kit
This could be for you, a passenger, or even to help out a bystander. This is especially useful in rural areas where it may take longer for an ambulance to arrive.
In addition to a battery-powered version, consider a crank-style light just in case (many of these also include a radio, which could come in handy during certain weather conditions).
13. Bottles of Water
We have hot summers in the Sunshine State. If you become stranded, especially in a rural area, a bottle of water could save you from dehydration or heat stroke.
14. Weather Radio
Florida is known for some nasty storms, not to mentioned hurricanes. If your phone is dead and the radio is full of static, a weather radio can let you know about the latest conditions and potential danger.
15. Printed Maps
Relying only on technology can get us into trouble. A road atlas is cheap (or just a fold-up map of Florida) and may come in handy (that is, assuming you still know how to read a map!)
16. Comfy Shoes
This one’s for the ladies. If your car breaks down, you don’t want to have to hike a few miles in high heels.
17. Car Phone Charger
Using a map app on your phone can use up a lot of juice; rather than risk being without a map (and now without a way to call for help), pick up one of these for your glove compartment.
18. Clean-Up Utensils
Paper towels, tissues (or just a wad of fast food napkins), and plastic bags. This could be to clean yourself, the kids, the dog, or just to clean out your vehicle.
19. Spare Change
Back in the day, ashtrays or center console compartments were full of change. But now that we use credit cards for everything, cars are can be change-less. That becomes very inconvenient when you run into an unexpected toll or an old-school parking meter that still needs to be fed change.
This is Florida, after all. You’ve certainly found yourself running across a parking lot during one of our afternoon storms. Make sure you get where you’re going dry!
There you have it, our top 20 items. Now, if you're a Floridian making a drive up north into winter conditions, you'll want to add a few items to your list, such as a small shovel, ice scraper, and even a traction helper like cat litter.
Anything important you think we've left off our list? Drop us a line in the comments below?