No teenager has ever asked Santa for a seat belt cutter or tire gauge. However, the gifts on this list are more than inexpensive ways to stuff a stocking. Each gift can help prevent a car wreck or help save a life after a crash:
- Car safety kit – Every vehicle should have a car safety kit. You can buy a basic kit containing jumper cables, a flash light, batteries, thermal blanket and mini first aid kit for under $20. More expensive versions contain a wider range of supplies to help in a variety of roadside emergencies.
- LED flares – Getting stranded on the road is dangerous. The road flares that come in car safety kits can burn out after 30 minutes. Reflective triangles are difficult to see and can blow away in heavy wind. LED flares are battery-operated bright lights that can last for 20 hours or longer. The cost can range from $20 to $80.
- Car escape tool – LifeHammer and Res-Q-Me are two different types of car escape tools. The tools are designed to shatter a car window in an emergency. Each tool also contains a seat belt cutter. The $15 LifeHammer is mounted inside the vehicle, while the $10 Res-Q-Me can hang on a keychain.
- Headlight restoration kit – If your teenager drives a secondhand car, the headlights may be putting her life at risk. Weather and time can damage plastic headlight covers reducing the brightness of the lights and making it hard to see at night. A headlight restoration kit can increase visibility by as much 300 percent. The kits cost about $25.
- Tire pressure gauges – Every car should have a tire pressure gauge. Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage and reduce accident risk. You can buy a good tire gauge for about $7.
Talk to your teen about automotive safety and teach her how to use these tools in case the unexpected ever happens. If your child is in an accident, you may also want a free copy of Atlanta car crash attorney Jeffrey Kaufman’s book, Hurt in Georgia: An Injury Attorney's Thoughts on Car Wrecks.