Please put a safety/emergency kit in your car. We have learned the hard way that we need more than seatbelts and car seats to keep our families safe in the car.
Here at Driving2Save, many of our tips are the product of rigorous testing and modeling. Others are based on science, statistics and experience. Experience, however, can be a cruel teacher.
The title of this post, and the main reason we recommend a properly-equipped safety kit in every car (like the one we recommend), stems from a bike accident where Brian sliced open his ankle on a course far from his house. Although he was near his car at the time, the first aid kit, bandages and a small roll of tape in the car were not up to the challenge of his (ultimately) 8-stitch wound. Fortunately, there was a diaper and a roll of duct tape in the car at the time, so Brian was able to wrap his ankle in a diaper and drive himself to the ER. Even though the diaper was (reasonably) clean, we do not recommend this approach to first aid (nor do we recommend using duct tape over leg hair, even in a pinch).
You might be saying to yourself, “But that was only one accident, so do I really need a serious safety kit?” As any parent knows or discovers the hard way, the answer is yes. For example, we know a boy who sliced his forehead open on a playground as a toddler (and still has the Harry Potter scar to show for it) and, you guessed it, had to (try to) hold a diaper to his forehead while his mom drove him to the ER. Given the blood loss in the backseat, it would be an understatement to note that gauze and tape would have been better. We have seen kids climb over split rail fences with bare knees, only to return to their parents crying with dozens of splinters in their legs (one of the reasons we recommend metal tweezers in our safety kits). You may remember the toddler anthem, “I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee.” It’s not fiction. We can assure you. Be prepared.
Our wealth of relevant experience here at Driving2Save goes well beyond the relationship between first aid kits and parenting. On our very first test drive, we ignored a tire pressure monitor warning and got a flat tire. No one was hurt, thankfully. But to add insult to injury, we also didn’t have a pump with us. So although we were able to install the spare tire, the pressure in that tire was only 19 psi. (That’s very low for those of you who don’t know – not to mention this was on an SUV). That made the drive back to our offices particularly slow and painful. Probably what we deserved, and yet another reminder why we test and recommend gauges and portable pumps.
Not much later, we asked Erin to take some of our supplies and equipment to a video shoot. She was unable to do so, however, because when we opened her trunk, it appeared that Erin was living out of her car.
To atone for her misdeed, Erin is still writing, “I will remove excess weight from my car” hundreds of times on the white board in our offices.
As soon as she is done, Desmond will erase her lines and start writing, “I will remove my empty roof rack from my car.”
Although we are learning from our mistakes – Brian has first aid kits and extra supplies in every car, we always take pumps on our test drives and we are ditching weight and roof racks – we are still making others. One of our interns failed to tighten his gas cap and as a result, ran out of gas on his way to our offices. Despite its obvious benefits for the planet and your fitness, pushing your car to the office in neutral is not, however, one of our Drive Smarter tips at Driving2Save.
We admit it. We aren’t perfect. Many of our tips are grounded in mistakes we have made. Our readers can learn from them (rather than repeat them). For this reason, we recommend that our readers do as we say…here at Driving2Save.
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