Getting stranded with a dead car battery or being caught off guard by a flat tire is not only stressful, it’s potentially dangerous.
Fortunately, there are a number of gadgets on the market today that can help you be better prepared for whatever the road throws at you.
Here are the car gadgets that will not only improve your overall driving experience, but will also help you be ready for the unexpected.
Dashcams can be used to not only shoot a memorable drive, but can also come in handy if you get into an accident.
The forward facing camera won’t protect you physically, but the footage it captures can be used to prove who is responsible for an car crash.
The Z-Edge dashcam can shoot 30 frames per second and will switch on automatically when you turn on your car and shut off once you switch the ignition off.
You can buy the Z-Edge dashcam for $105.99 on Amazon.
A smartphone mount can make navigation a lot less stressful.
Instead of constantly looking down at your phone for directions, you can use a mount to keep your Google Maps or Apple Maps app within your line of vision.
The iOttie smartphone holder is the best-selling mount on Amazon and costs $17.99.
Portable jumper starter kit
There’s no guarantee that someone will be around to give you jump when you need it, which is why it’s wise to always keep a jump starter kit in your vehicle.
A jump starter kit is basically a battery source that allows you to start your car when it dies by simply hooking the clamps on the kit to the car’s battery. But it can also be used as a backup power source.
The Suaoki portable jump starter kit also has a flashlight built in. Suaoki claims that its kit can start a vehicle 22 times on charge and can be purchased on Amazon for $79.99.
Bluetooth car kit
You don’t have to buy a new car to be able to connect your smartphone to your vehicle via Bluetooth.
The Mpow Bluetooth receiver plugs into your car so that you can play music and make calls over your car’s speakers hands-free.
You can purchase the gadget for $16.99 on Amazon.
USB car charger
A dead smartphone is the last thing you want while traveling. If you don’t have a USB port in your car, or if you need more than one port, this Anker 24W dual USB charger is a good option.
You can buy the Anker car charger on Amazon for $8.99.
Smart car adapter
Automatic promises to connect your car to your digital life. Automatic
Automatic is a small car adapter that you plug into the on-board diagnostics port of your car to get all kinds of data about your vehicle.
The device — which pairs with your phone via Bluetooth — diagnoses engine problems, remembers where you parked, displays your trip history, and can even call for help in the case of an accident.
There’s also an Automatic app gallery, which features apps for business, convenience, and savings, and safety. For example, the Concur app lets drivers track mileage for work trips, making expenses extremely easy.
You can also connect the device to your Amazon Echo so that you can do things like ask Alexa how much fuel you have or how much you drove last week.
The device, which works with most cars that were built since 1996, is available on Amazon for $50.41.
A GPS tracker connects with your smartphone to let you know the location of your vehicle at all times.
While this gadget is probably more useful for parents trying to keep tabs on their teens, it can also come in handy in the unfortunate event someone tries steals your vehicle.
The Spy Tec portable GPS tracker even allows you to set up a geofence and will notify you via email or text if the car goes outside the pre-determined area.
You can buy the Spy Tec portable GPS tracker on Amazon for $49.95. However, you’ll also need to pay $25 a month for the tracking service.
You shouldn’t speed, but if you’re going to do it, you’ll want to get yourself a radar detector to alert you of any possible speed traps.
The Escort Passport 9500ix radar is one of the highest rated radar detectors on Amazon and prices for about $350.
This may seem like a lot of money, but if you have a heavy foot, it could save you from paying a lot more in speeding tickets.
Blind spot mirrors
One of the best features in new cars these days is the blind spot alert function. The feature is basically just a light built into the sideview mirror that flashes when someone is in your blind spot.
However, if you have an older vehicle, you can get the same sort of function by just adding blind spot mirrors.
A two-pack of Ampper blind spot mirrors are available on Amazon for $6.89.
Tire pressure monitoring system
A tire pressure monitoring system lets you easily keep tabs on the health of your tires.
Carchet’s monitoring system measures both the temperature and the pressure of the tires. It comes with four sensors that attach to each tire and a monitoring display that plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. The display shows the pressure of each tire so that you can easily detect when something is wrong.
Cachet’s tire pressure monitoring system is available on Amazon for $89.99.
Seat belt cutter & window glass breaker
This device is exactly what it sounds like. It can be used to cut seat belts and break car windows in the case you or someone else is trapped after an accident.
This Resqme seat belt cutter and window glass breaker goes on your keychain and can be purchased on Amazon for $17.95.
This is a simple car accessory, but it’s incredibly useful.
The Drop Stop fits between your seat and the center console so that you never lose anything in that annoying crevice ever again.
You can purchase a set of two Drop Stop inserts for $19.99 on Amazon.
Mobile WiFi hotspot
Transforming your car into a traveling WiFi spot can help you stay connected wherever you go.
The Verizon MiFi Jetpack 4G LTE AC791L mobile hotspot is available for $49.99 from Verizon of about with a two year contract or $200 from other retailers without a contract. Of course, you’ll also have to pay a monthly service fee. If you use Verizon as your provider, you’ll end up paying about $50 a month for 4GB of data.
A back-up camera
The Pearl RearVision system transforms your smartphone into a backup camera so that you can see around your car when you are reversing.
The system basically consists of three components: the license-plate frame with its two high-definition cameras, an adapter that plugs into your OBD port, and a magnetic mount for your smartphone that sticks to your dashboard.
Once the adapter is plugged into the car, it enables the camera’s to stream footage to the driver’s smartphone. It also analyzes the video stream for obstacles and will alert the driver if it senses a possible collision.
Pearl, which was founded by ex-Apple engineers, says it will ship your unit within one business day.
You can purchase the RearVision system for $499 on Pearl’s website.
A heads-up display
A number of new luxury vehicles are coming equipped with heads-up displays these days. These displays are usually on the windshield of a vehicle and show the driver information about their route, like the speed limit or navigation information.
But you don’t have to buy a new car to get the technology in your car.
Navdy is an after-market gadget that can be installed in just about any vehicle to give it a heads-up display. The device can be attached to the dashboard so that you can view directions directly in front of you while driving. And because the Navdy connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth, it can also read texts aloud and let you view and accept calls with a simple gesture.
You can purchase the device on Navdy’s website for $499.
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