Essential Safety Items to Have in Your Car in the Australian summer
Posted by: Lydia on 4/12/2019
Whenever the summer rolls around, there’s much enthusiasm to get out on the open road. While this is understandable, it’s important to remember your safety gear when you leave home to ensure an enjoyable ride — one where you get plenty of smiles and sunshine but avoid some of the issues that can come with summer driving. Here is a list of essential safety items to have in your car this summer.
First aid kit
A love of adventure is innate in Aussies. There’s always a new road to explore or beach to set foot on. While this is great, it can mean the risk of an injury goes up too. That's why having a first aid kit in your boot is always wise — it guarantees that if you accidentally step on a sharp seashell, singe your hand on the campfire, or encounter any similar mishap, you’ve got the goods on hand to treat it right away.
Sunscreen is essential when out and about in the Aussie summer, and it’s also important to make the distinction between the different types of sunscreen. Some products that may be called sun spray or something similar may not actually be sunscreen, but moisturizers. Your skin may feel buttery smooth once you apply it, but this won’t last long if you’re red as a tomato after a couple of hours in the sun!
Making sure you buy sunscreen is very important, and the higher the SPF rating the better.
Finally, keep an eye out for water-resistant sunscreen if you plan to be hopping in and out of the water a lot. You can reapply regular sunscreen each time after a dip, but a water-resistant sunscreen will spare you the bother and prevent you from getting burned.
Sun protective clothing
It's also a good idea to keep some sun-smart clothing in your car during the summer. While sunscreen will help protect your face and other uncovered areas when you’re out in the sun, having gear on hand like hats and long sleeve t-shirts will help add an extra layer of protection — especially if you’re going to be out for a long period of time or in really hot weather. As you're getting this gear together, keep in mind that not all clothing is made equal, and buying goods with a strong protection rating is always best.
Just about every Aussie has known the experience of having an itchy mosquito bite, and if you get bitten multiple times, it can really ruin a Sunday outing or big road trip. While most bites will be nothing more than an irritating inconvenience that clears up in a few days, there are also substantial health risks that can arise if you’re unlucky. Keeping a can of quality mosquito repellent in your car ensures that you’ve got a line of defence ready anytime you think mozzies could be around.
Wearing a great pair of sunnies isn’t just a way to channel your inner Steve McQueen while cruising — it’s also an important safety measure. A bright summer’s day can add a ton of visual hazards to your drive, from the direct glare of the sun itself to its reflection off objects like the bumper bar on the car in front of you. By donning some sunglasses, you’ll greatly reduce the glare and risk these hazards pose.
It’s recommended that adults drink between 2 to 4 litres of water per day. This may sound like a lot, and for some Aussies it will be. But either way, it’s important to recognise that hot weather can mean a real spike in your body's need for water. You may not be far from a place where water is available, but it's wise to make sure you always keep extra water in your car — just in case — to avoid dehydration or heatstroke.
Spare pair of thongs
Aussies have a storied history with thongs. They're always a common sight in summer around beaches, barbeques, and even cafes and pubs. The terrific thing about thongs — that they’re so easy to slip on and off — is their biggest flaw, as they are relatively easy to bust. It’s always smart to keep a spare pair in your car so you don’t have to risk going barefoot for the rest of the day if this happens to you.
In addition to extra water, it’s a good idea to keep an electrolyte-based formula in your car. This can be a pre-mixed option or a powder that you can mix into a water bottle. Such a formula is especially good for younger travellers who may quickly overdo it having fun in the sun. If you're engaging in strenuous activity like running, hiking, or playing sport, an electrolyte drink can help quickly replace vitamins lost during the process and help maintain energy levels.
This diverse list will help ensure your car is fully stocked for a safe and enjoyable summer ahead. In addition to the items listed here, it's also important to be mindful of other important gear when it comes to your broader needs as a car owner. Keeping essential automotive tools at home will prevent you from getting caught with a minor issue that you could delay your summer plans. Best of all, you can also carry this kit with you when you travel, helping to ensure your vehicle stays in tip-top shape while you cruise on down the road safely in the summer sun.
What other safety items do you like to keep in your car? Let us know in the comments below.