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 5 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 $99 on Amazon.
Smart Car Adapter
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 $72.
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.
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 $69.99.
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 $15.99 on Amazon.