Before, it was said that a dog was man’s best friend but, these days, the car has usurped this position. But, even though all cars perform almost the same basic function, in this age of technology and individualisation, it is safe to say that no two cars are the same. Everyone is on the lookout for that special feature or add-on that will make their car stand out from the hundreds of add-ons on the market. We are bringing you our list of the top 10 coolest add-ons and accessories on the market, all of which are sure to change your driving experience.
A dash cam is a great addition to your car. These nifty devices are not just great for capturing memorable moments on the road but can also come in handy if you are involved in an accident. A forward-facing dash cam typically covers the entire road and everything on it. It also contains a time stamp and GPS that will let you, and the authorities, know the day, time and place where a particular incident occured.
Despite these great features, dash cams are cheap and do not require any technical expertise to set up. They work by recording what they see on a memory card, the contents of which you can later transfer to your laptop or the cloud. You may not know the importance of a dash cam until you are involved in an accident and need proof for your insurance provider.
Just like the dash cam, a rear-view camera is also a very useful device for today’s cars. With a rear-view camera, you no longer have to risk a crick in your neck simply because you are trying to reverse into a tight space. A large number of car-related injuries happen as a result of blind-spot accidents, a number that has dropped significantly since the introduction of these cameras.
A rear-view camera shows you objects behind you and makes it easy for you to ease your car backwards without the fear that you will hit something. Rear-view cameras are so useful that, in some regions, every car manufactured from 2018 is required to have one. You can get a good quality rear-view camera for little money and install it on your own without needing any technical skill. This one is an essential upgrade for cars that come without one.
Did you know that a significant number of highway fatalities occur because the driver was using their phone? It goes without saying that talking on the phone, texting, chatting with friends on social media or playing games on your phone while driving is extremely dangerous. Not only are you putting yourself and your passengers at risk, but other road users as well. However, there are legitimate activities you may need your Smartphone for while driving, such as checking directions on the GPS.
Instead of looking down at your phone whenever you need to check your route, a Smartphone mount will make the whole thing easier. With a mount, you can glance at your Smartphone without taking your eyes off the road. This is one for safety, and it doesn’t cost a lot either.
Heads-up display (HUD)
If you are like me and love anything sci-fi, you will definitely want to have a heads-up display in your car. Rather than looking up directions on your phone, a heads-up display (HUD) displays all you need to see directly on your windshield. From navigation to speed and vital vehicle signs, everything you need to make your trip exciting can be seen on your windshield.
Most new model vehicles come pre-installed with a HUD, however, if you drive an older car but want to experience that sci-fi feeling, you can buy these nifty devices at very low prices and install then your car. A HUD device can sit on the dashboard of your car and plug into the power outlet, projecting a transparent display of the necessary information on your windshield without disrupting your drive. Imagine the number of friends you can impress with this.
Portable jump starter kit
Imagine running out of battery on a lonely stretch of road with nobody to help jump start your battery. If you are lucky enough to be in an area where you can get reception or internet on your phone, then you may be able to call the closest garage, but what if you can’t get signal?
Rather than put yourself in a position where you are forced to stand by the roadside for hours on end, or maybe even spend the night in your car, why not keep a portable jump starter kit close by?
As you well know, jump starting your car means getting juice into your battery from an outside source, such as a power outlet or from the battery of another car, but with a portable jump starter kit, you don’t need to wait for anyone. This device allows you to boost your battery and drive on without spending any time by the roadside. It’s like power on demand. You keep charge in the kit by charging it at home via a regular power outlet.
Parking in tight spaces is never fun, especially if you are driving a big vehicle. There is the possibility that you will scratch and dent your car, you may even hit someone standing behind you who is not paying attention. A parking sensor solves all these problems. It emits a beeping sound that lets other people know you are reversing; some models also alert you when you are getting close to a stationary object.
Equipping your car with a parking sensor is a no-brainer and is not expensive. However, you may need a technician to help you hook it up to your car’s system.
While it may not be exactly possible to misplace your car, it is possible for your car to be stolen. A GPS tracker connects to an app on your Smartphone and helps you detect where your car is at any point in time. This is a very useful gadget and will also come in handy for parents who want to know the whereabouts of their children who took the car for a spin. It is also useful for car owners who employ drivers and want to know where their car has been.
Some models allow you to set up what is known as a geo-fence, which alerts you by email or SMS anytime your car goes outside a specific area.
Give yourself peace of mind by installing a GPS tracker in your car, although you may need to pay a monthly subscription for the tracking service.
Hands-free Bluetooth kit
You, and everyone else in the world, know the dangers of using your phone while driving. A large percentage of automobile accidents are caused by people using the phone when behind the wheel. When you use a phone while driving, you are not just putting yourself and your passengers at risk, but other road users also. Fortunately, new model cars come with a hands-free Bluetooth kit that allows you to operate your phone without endangering anyone. But, if your car doesn’t come with a hands-free Bluetooth kit, you can install one as an after-market add-on.
Bluetooth kits plug into your car and allow you to do everything you want to do on your phone without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. You can even play songs over the car speakers and make or receive calls.
Trying to get rid of bad smells, cigarette smoke, and the stale odour of smelly feet? A car ionizer will do this in a jiffy. A car ionizer plugs into the power outlet or cigarette lighter of your car and eliminates bad odours.
The smart device clears the air of unfavourable particles, helping the occupants to avoid airborne ailments such as coughing, sneezing or asthma. It also saturates the car with fresh air, making it cosy and comfortable.
If you are a fast and furious kind of driver, chances are you will get caught by the police one day. But, what if you could tell when your speed was being monitored by the traffic police so that you could reduce your speed and avoid a ticket?
A radar/laser detector lets you know when your speed is being monitored with a radar gun. It also lets you know when you are driving too fast so that you can slow down and avoid getting a ticket for speeding. While we do not support driving like a bat out of hell, there are times when you will need to drive at high speed for one reason or another, and a radar detector will prevent you from attracting the attention of the police.
There you have it, 10 cool car accessories that should be a part of your vehicle. Have one you feel should be on the list? Let us and other readers know about it in the comments section.