What to keep in your vehicle

From our first room, to our first locker, to our first vehicle - we rearrange, decorate and leave our distinctive mark on the spaces we fill. What we carry in our vehicles says almost as much about us as do the vehicles we choose to drive.

Whether it's the technology and features we add or the accessories, gadgets and belongings we bring with us, each driver creates a personal space in his or her own way.

But when it comes to safety, most of us have a few things in common. At minimum, we should all have a well-stocked first aid kit and a basic set of tools including:

* Screwdrivers - Phillips and flat head
* Pliers
* Set of good socket wrenches
* Duct tape
* Electrical wire tape
* Electrical wire spray
* Flashlight with extra batteries
* Small fire extinguisher
* Jumper cables

Who we carry affects what we carry

But those are just the basics. A more personalized approach to safety and preparation includes the consideration of passengers and how a driver intends to use a vehicle. Here are just a few examples of safety tips for different types of drivers.

Drivers with kids

Parents know that "accidents" happen inside the car all the time. Always anticipate the consequences of a delay due to traffic or mechanical trouble and have extra diapers and basic baby supplies in the trunk at all times. Also avoid storing children's beverages in containers that may become super-heated in the trunk.

Car poolers

Sharing a ride means sharing the responsibility for everyone's safety. Asking carpool buddies to store laptop computers and briefcases in the trunk creates a much safer environment inside the cabin. In the event of a crash, these items can become lethal projectiles.

Mobile professionals

Electronic devices and wires are potential hazards in any vehicle. Whether it's a cell phone, laptop or MP3 player, many of these electronic devices have multiple wires that can become a tripping hazard. Mobile professionals who may carry clients or prospects in their vehicle should take the time to assess any items that may cause tripping or injury during a collision.

Road-trippers

In addition to following the advice above, road-trippers are most susceptible to getting caught in unfamiliar territory and running out of gas. Adding a small gas can is a good idea if your route takes you off the beaten path.

The time to think about your safety plan is before you need it. Consider the people who count on your good driving and make a plan today.

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