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Smarter Driver: What you want in your trunkIs your car trunk a closet for all your junk? CNET's Brian Cooley offers some tips on the right gear and tech you should keep inside.
[MUSIC]. All right, if you're like most people, your trunk is kinda this place of last resort in your car. Not unlike that place in the ocean where all the plastic gathers and goes around in circles and never comes out. [MUSIC]. State Farm and KRC Research talked to 1,010 U.S. drivers and found that 60% of them had a lot of nonessential stuff in the boot, while only 9% had the essentials. That includes jumper cables, road flares or reflectors, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a little water, a blanket and, of course, a spare tire. Interestingly, SUV drivers were more likely to have the basics, the right stuff in their trunk than sedan drivers by a fair percentage. More of a survivalist mentality, I guess. Now on top of that list of basics, here are a few things I like to carry in my trunk. You may like to as well. First of all, one of these compact portable jumpstarters. This will jumpstart your car, seriously. And when you're not using it for that, you've got USB ports to charge your portables. Some pet food, to attract those strays out there that might need rescue and can be very skitterish. This s also good for you in the next recession. An FRS radio, you know, family radio service, but one that runs on AAs that you also keep in the trunk. Most of these are rechargeable and they're usually dead when you need them. This makes sure that doesn't happen. And here's one if you travel a lot. This is a solar battery tender. You put this on your dash. You run the other end into your cigarette or 12 volt lighter outlet and it trickle charges your battery. If you leave your car at the airport for a week or longer, this might save you a dead call to Triple A. And one more thing that doesn't literally go in your trunk, but underneath it, is keep at least half a tank of gas in your car at all times, for two reasons. One, you're mobile during a disaster. Or even if you're gonna shelter in place, it's a great source to siphon gas for your generator at home. It pays to know double check what's in your trunk and make sure it's more than just old clothes and garbage.