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20+ Car Gadgets That Make Driving Safer

From backup cameras to LED road flares, these cleverly-designed auto accessories can make driving safer—and more enjoyable.

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Backup camera dashcam

Rear backup cameras are quickly becoming standard on new vehicles, but with this affordable car gadget, you can upgrade any car with the ability to park safely, back up with ease, and even record in HD what’s happening in front of and behind you. The backup cam images appear on your rearview mirror so your eyes will be able to stay focused on the road ahead.

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Heads-up display speedometer

Compatible with all vehicles, this handy speedometer will help keep you safe on the road. Instead of glancing down at your dashboard’s spread-out displays, the TIMPROVE T600 delivers your vehicle speed, driving direction, voltage, driving distance measurement, driving time, low voltage alarm, over speed alarm, satellite time and number, and altitude all at eye level on top of your dash.

Can you decode what your car is trying to tell you? Take our dashboard light quiz to find out.

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Magnetic phone holder

Of course you shouldn’t be using your phone while driving, but whether you’re switching songs, firing up a new podcast episode, or following Google Maps, this magnetic phone holder will place your smartphone closer to eye level, thus making those glances shorter and safer, sending your eyes back to the road up ahead more quickly.

Here’s why you should stop charging your phone in your car.

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Car Gadgets - Noco Genius Battery BoostPhoto:

Portable car battery boost

A dead car battery is awkward at best because you need to rely on the kindness of strangers to take time out of their day to pop their hood and give your car a boost. At worst, it could put you in an unsafe position if it happens late at night in a parking lot with no one else around. Bid adieu to those fears with the NOCO Genius, a portable car battery jump solution that can also charge your phones, tablets, and other USB devices. Safely jump start a dead battery in seconds on most gasoline engines up to six litres and diesel engines up to three litres, and never have to ask a stranger for help in a parking lot again.

Find out five ways to extend the life of your car battery.

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Car Gadgets - New Driver Bumper StickerPhoto:

Teen Driver Mode

Slap a reflective New Driver magnetic bumper sticker onto the back and sides of the car to help keep your teen driver even safer on the road.

Surprise—this is the safest seat in your car.

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Car Gadgets - GPS TrackerPhoto:

GPS tracker

This GPS tracker will keep your vehicle safe and give you peace of mind when your teens take your car for a spin. A free year of service means you’ll always know where your vehicle is, via a real-time smartphone app.

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Car Gadgets - Dog Seat BeltPhoto:

Dog seat belt

Driving with your pup can be fun, but it’s also challenging to keep them in the back seat—where they’re safest—while you’re paying attention to the road. This dog seat belt is a must-own car gadget, whether you’re going around the block, or across the country with your furry friend.

Here’s what you need to know before bringing your dog on a road trip.

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Car Gadgets - Escape ToolPhoto:

Emergency escape tool

Few car gadgets are as affordable and as essential as this escape tool. Sold as a two-pack, each contains a seat belt cutter and double-tipped emergency car window hammer made of high-grade carbon steel to safely and quickly crack the glass to escape in an accident.

Here’s exactly what to do if your car starts sinking underwater.

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Smart car charger

This smart car charger doesn’t look like anything special, but it’s actually many car gadgets in one. It can charge your phone with lightning speed while also monitoring your car battery’s health, plus get the ability to find your car using GPS and receive parking meter alerts.

Did you know your car key fob could do this?

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Car Gadgets - Portable Air CompressorPhoto:

Portable air compressor pump

Imagine never having to frantically search for a gas station with a functioning air pump (or quarters to feed that air pump!) ever again. Using your car’s power, this air compressor pump lets you quickly and safely refill your tires air no matter where you are. The LCD digital display and auto-shutoff means you will always inflate your tires to the perfect PSI for safe driving.

Here’s how to check tire pressure like the pros.

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Car Gadgets - Tire Pressure Monitoring SystemPhoto:

Tire pressure monitoring system

Freeing up a cigarette lighter input for another car gadget, this clever tire pressure monitoring system using solar power to keep you up to date on the safety and status of your tires PSI and temperature data.

Follow these tips to extend the life of your tires.

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Car vacuum

You may think, “how will a vacuum keep me safe on the road?” The answer is simple: a clean and tidy car is one less distraction for you as a driver. Using your car’s power, the strong suction of this car vacuum will have your ride immaculately clean.

Check out more car interior cleaning tips to refresh your ride.

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Car Gadgets - Visor ClipsPhoto:

Sunglass visor clip

Sometimes being safe on the road comes down to the small details. Having your sunglasses clipped and within easy reach serves to keep your centre console that much tidier. What’s more, when you round a bend and find your car pointing directly into the setting sun, grabbing your shades couldn’t be easier.

Find out why you should never follow a friend while driving.

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Car Gadgets - Car First Aid KitPhoto:

First-aid kit

Every vehicle should probably come standard with a first-aid kit, but because they don’t, you should invest a few bucks in a ready-made kit to have handy in the case of minor scrapes in and out of the car. This Canadian-made, FDA-approved first aid kit includes everything from a whistle to tweezers.

Here’s what you need to do within 10 minutes of a car collision.

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Car Gadgets - Bamboo Charcoal Air FreshenerPhoto:

Car air freshener

Containing no fragrance, plastics or chemicals, this 100 per cent bamboo charcoal air freshener is ideal for drivers and passengers with asthma as well as those suffering through the stuffy noses standard with seasonal allergies. Bonus: They’ll keep your car fresh for up to two years.

Find out the scary truth behind that new car smell.

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UV ray window shades with heat alert

Keep your backseat passengers cool and safe from the sun’s harmful rays with these UV protective window shades. This affordable car gadget includes an indicator that will turn white when the car is too hot, helping reduce the risk of passengers suffering heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

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Car Gadgets - LED Road FlaresPhoto:

LED road flares

Flares are one of the most useful car gadgets to keep you safe in the event of a breakdown or accident. These LED road flares are safe and easy to use, highly visible with a bright red flashing light to signal your emergency and warn approaching vehicles to slow down. Sold in a three-pack and featuring a magnetic base for mounting to the exterior of your vehicle, road flare discs are a must-have car gadget.

Find out if your car is ready for a road trip.

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Car Gadgets - Back Up CameraPhoto:

Digital wireless backup camera

If your vehicle doesn’t have a backup camera, this ingenious car gadget allows you to install a wireless digital backup cam quickly and affordably. Using a five-inch LCD monitor mounted onto your dashboard and a waterproof camera in the back, you will be able to reverse safely and park with ease.

Here’s what it could mean if your car won’t shift into reverse.

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Car Gadgets - Baby Car MirrorPhoto:

Baby car mirror

A baby car mirror provides you with a crystal clear view of your precious cargo in the backseat while you drive safely to your destination. A good baby car mirror to ensure your baby is happy and safe in the car, and remind you that they are back there when you park—a must-own car gadget for every new parent.

These are the things you should never leave in your car.

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Car Gadgets - Car Visor ExtenderPhoto:

Car visor extender

There are times when the sun will outsmart and outmaneuver your car’s sun visor. That’s why this car gadget is so handy. A car visor extender will work overtime by providing more coverage downward and to the sides, to block more of the sunshine from your field of vision while driving, keeping you and your passengers safer in the process.

Find out the winter driving mistakes that could put you in danger.

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Car Gadgets Bluetooth Transmitter For CarsPhoto:

Bluetooth adapter

The introduction of Bluetooth technology in cars has surely made us safer drivers. Think about it: no more fumbling for CDs or frantically changing the radio station when a song we hate comes on. But many older cars don’t have Bluetooth, which makes this car gadget so great. Using an FM signal and a cigarette lighter input, you can add a Bluetooth connection no matter what car you drive.

Here are 13 things you should never do to your car.

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Check Engine light diagnostic tool

Oh no, the dreaded check engine light is on… No worries! This clever, affordable check engine scanner is a diagnostic tool that can quickly tell you what’s wrong with your car engine, and help you resolve the issue ASAP.

Check out more essential tools every car owner should have.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest