The market for car accessories is vast. Companies have produced all sorts of odds and ends you can install to alter your driving experience in some way. Not all of them are worthwhile, and some are downright gimmicky. But a few accessories can make a serious difference. DriversLicenseAdvisors.org has pulled together a list of the most useful accessories to keep inside your car. These gadgets add convenience, safety and flexibility to your ride—you’ll wonder how you drove without them!
1. A Phone Mount
If you’ve ever stepped into an Uber driver’s car, you’ve probably noticed the phone mount your driver’s device is attached to. The mount allows your driver to easily see directions and information on the phone without looking away from the road. Turns out you don’t have to be an Uber driver to have a phone mount. There are numerous mounts available for all models of phone and car, with prices as low as $12. Technically drivers should minimize phone use, but the reality is you probably rely on your device to give you directions and warnings on the road. You may as well make it safer by elevating your phone to eye level. Of course, the DriversLicenseAdvisors.org team reminds you to never text and drive.
2. A Dual-USB Car Charger
Most drivers rely heavily on the USB phone charger plug in their cars. But the biggest downside to the plug is that there’s only one. Luckily, an accessory like a dual-USB charger enables drivers to plug two devices into one car charger. This device is extremely simple—it’s just a car charger, but with two USB ports instead of one. That extra port really comes in handy, however, for passengers who also need to charge a device or drivers with multiple devices. Dual USB chargers are super cheap, available for as little as $1 from some retailers. Better models can have up to four USBs, but most drivers can settle for two.
3. A Radar Detector
The staff at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org would never recommend that you drive over the speed limit. However, the staff does recommend getting your hands on a radar detector, a car accessory that enables you to detect if there’s an officer with a radar gun up ahead. These devices encourage you to keep an eye on the road and your speed limit. However, radar detectors are pricey, with the best models running several hundred dollars. What’s more, they’re not always allowed. Before you get a radar detector, make sure you look up the laws in your state. Radar detectors are illegal in Washington D.C. and Virginia, and illegal for use in commercial vehicles. However, in other states and in non-commercial vehicles, they are legal for use and invaluable to drivers who install them.
4. A Dash Cam
In this day and age, dash cams are more ubiquitous than ever. Everyone from officers to road trippers to regular commuters have a dash cam installed in their car, and no wonder. Dash cams provide a detailed record of a traveler’s entire drive, providing people with backup evidence should they get into a car crash that wasn’t their fault. Some come with added safety features like parking surveillance and incident detection technology.DriversLicenseAdvisors.org recommends looking for a dash camera with a better image processor for improved night vision. In addition, consider whether the dash cam has WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity. Newer models can stream or connect to a driver’s phone, allowing for easy transfer of recorded content, while other models rely on SD cards.
5. A Heads-Up Display
Hands down the coolest accessory to hit the market in recent years is the heads-up display. These devices are installed just above the dashboard, so that they remain in your line of sight when you’re looking straight ahead. The clear screens display everything from your speed to navigation, allowing you to take your eyes off the dashboard and keep them on the road. If you’re looking for a life-changing car accessory that improves safety, DriversLicenseAdvisors.org suggests making the purchase.