5 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Car’s Glove Box

Before you pull out of your driveway, make sure these five items are along for the ride. In fact, no car glove box should ever be without them.

Whether you’re making the daily commute to work, heading to the grocery store or embarking on a lengthy road trip, you need to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. In the normal course of maintenance, that means regularly checking your tire pressure, monitoring the gas tank and ensuring your car or truck is in great shape.

It also means making sure you have essential documents and accessories with you at all times. The easiest way to be prepared for any eventuality is to keep a well-stocked glove box. Here are 5 essential items that drivers should always have on-hand.

1. The Car’s Owner’s Manual

How do you speed-up your car’s windshield wipers? What should you do if that check engine light comes on? How far can you travel after the dashboard registers you’re low on gas? The answers to all those questions (and more) can be found in your car’s owner’s manual . If you’ve not yet familiarized yourself with this manual, it’s a good idea to flip through the next time you’re waiting to pick up your kids from school. Afterwards, make sure the owner’s manual ends up back where it belongs-in the glove box for ready-reference the next time you need to troubleshoot.

2. Car Insurance and Registration Documents

You never want to see blue lights flashing behind you, but when they do, you’ll need to show proof of automobile insurance coverage and proof that you own the car you are driving. Your glove box should be home to both your insurance cards and your vehicle registration information.

Although it’s tempting to go paperless, don’t rely on those downloadable insurance cards alone. You never know when your smartphone battery will die, and you don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road with a scowling officer as you dig for the files. Keeping a paper copy of your insurance card in the glove box will help you breathe-and drive-easier.

3. A Spare Phone Charger

Speaking of dead batteries, if you don’t have a car charger in your glove box you need to put one there now. Smartphone batteries last longer than ever before, but that does not mean they can power your conversations (or Google Maps) indefinitely.

One of the fundamental reasons to carry a cell phone is to summon help in an emergency, and you need to make sure your phone is available when you need it most. Always keep a spare charger in your glove box-and test it regularly to make sure it is working properly.

4. A Basic First Aid Kit

You hope you’ll never need it, but it’s important to have a basic first aid kit in your car’s glove box. It could be something as simple as a few packs of bandages and some antibiotic ointment, but having a smaller-scale version of a proper first aid kit handy saves you from having to rummage through the trunk in an emergency situation. Supplement this with a full roadside emergency kit in your trunk, stocked with things like road flares, flashlights, and additional medical supplies.

5. A Flashlight and Batteries

You never know when you’ll be stranded after dark, so always keep a flashlight in your car’s glove box. Make sure the batteries are fresh, and add a few spare ones for good measure. Look for a flashlight that is bright enough to illuminate under the car hood, and the undercarriage-an LED model is perfect for automotive use. A work light is also a smart idea, but its size makes it better suited for the trunk.

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