Essential Self Defense & Safety Items to Keep in Your Car

Essential Self Defense & Safety Items to Keep in Your Car

In a world of ever-increasing violence, the ability to protect yourself is vital. Statistics illustrate that robbery victimization increased from 2016 to 2017. The FBI Uniform Crime Report shows there were a total of 1,247,321 violent crimes such as robbery, aggravated assault, murder, and rape in the United States during 2017.

These alarming statistics show that learning to defend yourself is even more important today, whether you’re home or on the road. Here are some self-defense and safety items to keep you safe, no matter where you are, and information on how to choose the right tool. Many of these items you can keep in your car and take with you as needed. These weapons are also non-lethal protection alternatives.

Choosing a Self-Defense Weapon

Picking the right self-defense tool or weapon is mainly through personal preference and how you’ll be carrying it. Here are some additional things to consider:

  • Can you use a weapon to injure someone?
  • Budget limits
  • Weapon/tool size
  • Local and state regulations

It’s critical to know your state and local regulations on weapons. In some areas, you may be required to carry a permit with certain self-defense tools. Some weapons may even be illegal in your state. Size is also an essential factor. Are you going to carry a taser in your purse or are you looking for something to bring with you when you’re running? 

How much money can you spend on a self-defense weapon? Obviously, your life is priceless, but you might not be able to afford to spend much money.  Don’t worry, as there are effective defense tools for every budget. One crucial question is whether you use a weapon if you need to. Some people can’t and, for those, there are tools such as panic alarms that are loud audible alerts. Panic alarms chase many assailants off or can bring people to your location.

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is a popular self-defense weapon if someone nearby tries to assault you. It’s portable, allowing you to carry it in your purse, car, or even in your pocket. People often confuse pepper spray with other self-defense sprays available on the market today.  The other two popular formulas are CN and CS. These are irritants that the military specifically produces to cause pain. OC is the best spray for personal self-defense. Not only does it cause pain, but it also inflames the mucous membranes. Its effects make it hard for your assailant to open their eyes or breathe. 

car defense pepper spray graphic

Pepper spray comes in a variety of ranges and spray patterns. Some mists or sprays make it easier to exhale, while others have a stream pattern or foam. Each OC spray has its pluses and minuses. Stream pepper sprays have an excellent range, and you can easily hit your target. Assailants can’t inhale the stream, so this method doesn’t incapacitate them. One of the essential aspects of OC’s defensive capabilities is the inflammation of the mucous membranes when it is inhaled. 

Mists and sprays have a shorter range but are easily inhaled. The best pepper spray for most people to carry is the mist or spray. The last method of dispersal is the foam pattern, and it’s the least recommended. It’s more challenging to hit your assailant, doesn’t affect their breathing, and is slow to take effect. Foam OC also has a shorter range than streams. However, be aware that pepper spray may affect you as well as your attacker. It’s easy to inhale the mist or spray if you're struggling with an assailant. Pepper spray may make it difficult to see, as well. You shouldn’t carry it if you have respiratory issues.

Pepper spray also comes in a smaller lipstick size. It’s excellent to hide in your purse or a pocket. The spray is discreet and will surely surprise any assailant.  Hide the pepper spray in your car and transfer it to your purse or pocket so that you never have to worry about leaving it at home. It will be handy if someone tries to carjack you or forcibly kidnap you while taking your car.

Tactical Flashlight

We know. Carrying a flashlight for defense sounds odd, but this isn’t just any flashlight. A reliable tactical flashlight is shock resistant, weather-resistant, and crafted from airplane-grade aluminum. Tactical flashlights are brighter than ordinary flashlights, at 200 lumens compared to 100 lumens. The tactical light provides visibility the length of a football field, with clarity for approximately 50 feet. Most tactical lights have different settings, such as low, medium, and high, as well as strobe. The various settings allow you to adjust the brightness of the light for a specific task, or you can use the strobe to blind your attacker.

stun baton

Manufacturers design these flashlights with a serrated edge, which makes them extremely versatile. You can use a tactical flashlight as a digging tool, to strike a perpetrator, or to break out a car window. You can keep one in your car so that you always have it, or you can carry it on you and keep a second one in your vehicle. Tactical flashlight designers create them with defense in mind. The serrated-edge design allows you to tear skin and cause as much pain as possible to anyone who attempts to assault you. Their weight alone makes them an excellent striking weapon that can cause some damage. A typical flashlight will likely break if you try to hit someone with it. 

Self-Defense Keychain

Self-defense keychains come in many styles and sizes, such as stun guns, pepper spray, knives, or balls. These keychains convert to weapons with very little maneuvering, and they are easy to use. One nifty keychain, called the cat ear weapon, looks just like its namesake. The ears are sharp, and you can slip your fingers through the eyeholes and use it as a weapon to gouge your attacker. These keychains are typically not legal in states where brass knuckles are illegal. 

Keychain weapons are perfect for defense on the go. They’re easy to carry while jogging or walking your dog or for safety in parking lots. Anyone who tried to attack you would be surprised when they found out that you’re not such an easy target for violence. These tools can give you an advantage. Whether you blind your attacker with pepper spray, disable them with a stun gun, or use a cat ear keychain to gouge them, you’ll buy yourself enough time to get to your car safely. Alternatively, you can run to a secure public place if it’s closer.

Tactical Knife

A small tactical knife is easy to conceal in your pocket or purse. These are excellent alternatives to guns but can be lethal. Make sure, if you’re carrying a knife, that you can use it to defend yourself. Usually, in the heat of battle, you’ll forget about your fear of using a weapon, as your brain and body naturally will signal you to fight to survive. The other alternative is flight, and that is perfectly okay as long as you can do so safely. However, understand that this weapon can be lethal. The knife is one of the best self-defense weapons to carry. Tactical knives are also versatile because you can use them for so many other tasks. Choose a durable blade that’s strong and won’t break. Like most weapons, each knife has its pros and cons. They come in different shapes for performing different motions and can cause significant damage to attackers.

car defense tactical knife graphic

Make sure you know your local ordinances on knives. Most states have laws against blades that are certain lengths, and they regulate the use of switchblades versus folding knives. Knives can also be dangerous because it’s easier to cut yourself if you're in a fight for your life. Knives are also used for close combat, so they aren’t as effective as a long-distance deterrent. Also, be cautious when carrying a knife if you don’t have experience using one. The assailant could wrestle it away from you, and then you truly have problems. Despite all of this, carrying a knife can save your life. 

Personal Safety or Emergency Alarm

This crime deterrent is for those who don’t want to or can’t use a weapon for self-defense and there’s nothing wrong with that. Embrace your non-violent nature and get a personal safety alarm. These alarms can be loud and will scare your attacker away or draw the attention of people around you. The best way to use a personal alarm is to gain distance from the assailant by running away to get help or having them run away because of the noise. So, once you sound it, throw it as far away from you as you can. By tossing it, the perpetrator can’t take it from you or silence it without effort. They usually don’t want to hang around and draw more attention to themselves.

Tactical Pen

This safety tool is versatile and can be used to write with. Its common appearance masks its self-defense purpose. Tactical pens are designed with self-defense in mind, not writing. What’s nice is you can use it for writing too. It’s one of the easiest self-defense tools to carry, and it fits in a purse or pocket. Attackers often overlook them.

aluminum self defense tactical pen

So, how can a pen protect you? Most have sharp points that you can jab into an assailant to injure them and buy yourself time and distance to get away. Some are incredibly durable and made of sturdy steel so you can strike someone with them. A tactical pen isn’t ideal for self-defense, but it serves as an excellent backup, a last resort, or a surprise attack weapon. A sturdy pen can do quite a bit of damage, however.

Stun Gun or Taser

Stun guns and tasers are excellent non-lethal self-defense tools. They’re an alternative to carrying a gun. These products come in a variety of styles, sizes, and capabilities. Tasers are deployed from a distance and have wires with hooks that attach to your attacker’s skin or clothes and deliver a shock. Stun guns also shock assailants but are used in close quarters. There are also lipstick tasers that fit into your purse and deliver the same shock as their larger counterparts. The primary difference is their size and, therefore, their portability. 

A civilian taser is different from those that police officers carry because it has a longer knockdown cycle. Taser manufacturers designed these tasers for you to pull the trigger and, once the prongs reach their target and incapacitate your attacker, to throw it down and run to safety. The taser has a 15-foot radius, and the cycle lasts 30 seconds once you pull the trigger.  It buys you enough time to flee to safety.  

car defense stun gun graphic

Taser and stun guns are often light to carry and simple to use, making them excellent self-defense tools. Attackers can’t complete their criminal activities when disabled, and you can get to safety.

Self-Defense Ring

There are many self-defense weapons and tools on the market, but how can a ring protect you? These rings aren’t just any rings, however. Some rings hide a shim-pick and saw so you can cut zip ties or get out of handcuffs. Others are designed to deliver a stun that gains you precious seconds to escape. There are even rings made from tungsten steel for breaking glass, among other things, with two glow bars to use in the dark. Others are designed with sharp tips for jabbing and injuring anyone who pegs you as an easy target. Self-defense rings are excellent tools to use if someone tries to assault you or steal something such as your purse. Their primary purpose is easily concealed because they look like a unique piece of jewelry. 

Self-Defense Tools for Everyone

adult and child walking to car

Unfortunately, the world we live in is a violent one. So, we must always prepare for the worst. There is an ideal self-defense tool for everyone on this list, and each one comes in a variety of sizes and with varying features. No matter what your budget is, there’s a tool to help protect you and give you an advantage if someone ever attacks you. Seconds matter during violent confrontations. So, choose the best tool or weapon for you or perhaps more than one! They all have their pros and cons, but manufacturers designed them with self-defense in mind. Whatever weapon you choose, The Home Security Superstore has plenty of options for you to choose from. With a wide array of selections, it should be easy to find the ideal defense tool.