Congrats! Your teenager is finally out on the road on their own. Now you can hit snooze when their morning basketball practice alarm goes off, enjoy a glass of wine with dinner (They can drive themselves to after-school activities!), and sit back and relax while they… wait, are they driving themselves around? Alone?!
We know that worrying about your teen’s safety is a natural part of the driving process. That’s why we’ve created a handy list of all the things they could possibly need in the event of an on-the-road emergency.
First Aid Kit
First thing’s first (aid): since you can’t be there to kiss their boo-boo’s, you’ll need to give them supplies to take care of cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
- Multipurpose utility tool: An all-in-one utility tool to cut, slice, snip, rip, and grip, plus some other things.
- First aid kit: This 120-piece kit is compact and car-friendly.
- If you prefer to build your own first aid kit, make sure it includes the following:
Your teen will need more than just the north star to find their way around.
- A paper map of your city and surrounding areas: It may save a frazzled or lost teen if GPS ever gives out.
- Cell phone holder: Not only will this phone holder free up your teen’s hands, it might save them from getting a ticket, too.
- Cell phone charger: Keeping a cell phone (whether it’s an iPhone, Android, or anything in between) powered up is crucial.
Tell other cars to watch out or flag down roadside assistance with these helpful tools.
- Whistle: Make some noise with a whistle or two.
- Reflective warning triangles: These warning triangles will tell other cars to give your teen some automotive space.
- Flashlight: A light that’s great for locating important items inside or outside of the car.
Shelter from the Elements
If your teen needs to exit their car for any reason, these items will help shelter them from the storm. Or, you know, a really sunny day.
- Battery-powered fan: A folding, portable fan, in case the A/C gives out.
- Tarp: Multi-purpose and waterproof, this tarp just might save the day.
- Rain poncho: Keep your teen dry with a rain poncho for unusually rainy situations.
- Sunscreen: Sunscreen will keep their face safe from sun damage.
- Lip balm: Chapped lips make any bad situation worse. Lip balm is an easy addition to any emergency kit.
- Pepper spray: Pepper spray is good for those lions, tigers, and bears. (Oh my!)
- Bug spray: Protect your teen from awful bug bites.
- Backpack: Finally, put all these items in a small, lightweight backpack to make it easy to get up and go. (We prefer this one in Aceable blue.)
No drive-thrus or convenience stores around? No problem. Keep some of these easy snacks in the car just in case.
- Non-perishable snacks: Foods like granola bars, beef jerky, or dried fruit are great back-up to have in case your teen gets stranded with no fast food in sight.
- Water bottles: In case of an emergency, you can never have enough water.
Cars, they’re just like us: sometimes they need a little bit of tender loving care.
- Refillable gas jug: If your teen needs to get gassed up, they’ll need a way to transport fuel to their car.
- A gallon of coolant: In the event of extreme temperatures, coolant keeps water from freezing and boiling.
- Jumper cables: Your teen will get by with a little help from their friends, and jumper cables for said friends to jump start their car.
- Tire sealant: If a tire needs minor patching up, a sealant like Fix-a-Flat can do the job.
- Tire inflator: Got a flat? Fix it with an inflator like this one.
- Washer fluid: Having extra washer fluid on hand will help with visibility.
- Fire extinguisher: Just like with your home, keeping a fire extinguisher in your teen’s car could make all the difference.
- Tire pressure gauge: Checking tire pressure is easy with a tire pressure gauge.
- Important information: Be sure to keep the numbers for nearby auto repair shops and AAA, and your teen’s car insurance cards handy.
Make An Escape
If your teen needs to make an emergency exit:
- Seat belt cutter and window breaker: This two-in-one tool could save a life.
Pesky ice be gone!
- Warm blanket: Having one good-quality blanket for each person riding in the car will keep the whole gang warm in those especially harsh winters.
- Kitty litter: An alternative to sand, kitty litter is great to spread underneath tires in icy temperatures.
- Windshield ice scraper: If your teen needs to remove ice from their windshields, an ice scraper is the way to go.
Keep it clean and sanitary with these helpful items.
- Toilet paper
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Heavy-duty trash bags
- Baby wipes
- Change of clothes
Once you’ve compiled everything you need on this emergency kit checklist, it’s a good idea to store the items in an easily accessible, tightly closed plastic or metal container somewhere in your teen’s car. Make sure your young driver knows it’s there, and most importantly, make sure they have a basic understanding of how each item on this list works.
Rest easy, parents. Drive on, teens.
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