Driving Lesson 8 (N2K)

"Right Turns on Residential Streets" Need-To-Know Info

How to Drive a Car:  Stuff You Should Have in Your Car

Learning how to drive a car is also learning about being prepared.  A lot of situations may develop where you will need certain items to be with you.   Most cars have a trunk or compartments where you can store this stuff so it is out of the way but available when you need it.

Every car should have an emergency cell phone. Keep it charged and programmed with the following:

  • Your Name and Home #
  • Parent's Names and Home #s
  • Parent's Office #s
  • Parent's Cell #s
  • Insurance Agent's #
  • Insurance Policy #
  • Doctor's Name and #
  • Roadside Assistance Information
  • Local Emergency #
  • Local Police Non-Emergency #
IMPORTANT TIP - Don’t throw out your old cell phone!    Keep it fully charged and leave it in your car.  In an emergency - you can use this phone to connect to 911 - even though it’s not on a cell plan. Really!  Regulations in the US and Canada require all cell phones to connect to 911 - even if they are not connected to a current cell provider.  You can’t use it to make random calls and the 911 operator will not call your boss to tell him you’ll be late, but if you need police or an ambulance - this phone will do the trick.

You should also keep these things in your car -just in case:

  • Tire Gauge
  • Lug nut wrench
  • Spare tire & jack
  • Your car’s Owner’s Manual
  • 3-in-1 (or similar) oil in a Ziploc bag
  • A few bottles of water
  • A pen (secured in glove box)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Duct tape (for temporary hose repairs)
  • Flares
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Collapsible gas can 
  • Jumper cables – at least 2.5 meters (8 feet) but longer is better.
  • This book
  • Flash Light (battery-less is best) otherwise have extra batteries too
  • Windshield ice scraper with snowbrush
  • Windshield hammeryou can buy this inexpensive item at an auto shop. Use it to break the windshield for an emergency escape.
  • Also – print out a list of the emergency numbers and keep it in the glove box. 


When you’re leaving on a long trip or driving in bad weather, you should also have:

  • Blanket
  • Food or snacks (nutritious rather than sugary)
  • Warm clothing (hat, heavy jacket, scarf, gloves, etc.)
  • Necessary medications
  • Collapsible shovel
How to Drive a Car:  Stuff You Should NOT Have in Your Car

Anything that’s loose in your car can become a missile if you have to stop suddenly.  So make sure you secure loose articles before you start the car.  Don’t put knick-knacks on your dashboard (like plastic statues) or hang trinkets from your mirror.  Fuzzy dice block your view and that CD that looks so pretty in the light can become a razor blade in a crash.  Be careful with vanity license plates that identify the owner as female too.  “HOTGIRL” might invite attention from people you really don’t want to meet.

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