Out of all the things we carry in our cars, you probably never carry an extra phone. No, it doesn’t need to be a smartphone and it doesn't need to be anything that was released this century. In fact, an old Nokia 3310 or Sony Ericsson phone would be fine for this purpose. But why?


Let’s face it, your smartphone probably doesn’t have a very good battery life. It’ll probably last you the entire day and then become useless again when the battery dies, requiring you to bring a wealth of spare battery banks with you into the car, or to charge it every night and hope that it has enough juice to last you a full day. This is one thing that spare phones have over the current generation smartphone: battery life. An old phone could last for weeks before it needed charging again because they were bulky and simply didn’t need much power. On the contrary, today’s smartphones are all extremely power hungry devices due to their beautiful displays, wealth of apps and the power packed inside of each one.

So back to the title of this article; why does every car owner need a simple phone in their collection of emergency supplies? Read on to find out.

Emergency contact

Since the battery for you typical smartphone could be dead by the time you regain consciousness from a crash, you should always consider carrying another phone in the car for the sake of contacting people. It could be the local authorities, the number to your personal injury lawyer or even your family members. Without contact to the outside world, it’s almost impossible to get the help you need. Keep this phone near the driver’s seat or a central location that can be accessed by anyone in the car. Don’t keep it in the boot because, chances are, you probably won’t be able to reach it during an accident.

Since it’s a separate phone, you could tailor it so that it’s specifically set up for emergency uses. For example, you could save all the numbers of your friends and family on it for easy access, you can categorise the numbers so you know what services to contact immediately and which to leave for later and it also doubles as a phonebook in case you forget a specific number.

Detailed Maps

If you’re lucky enough to have a second phone to handle maps (or a brand new car with a built-in GPS unit), then you’ll know how convenient it is. Another smartphone could potentially act as a media player, map display or even some entertainment for the children. Think of it as a small tablet that you can use to indulge your passengers but also serves as a GPS replacement should your unit stop working or not offer enough detail for the locations you are driving in. Although you can use your existing phone for this, having the GPS tracking on for a long period of time can eat away your battery, making it far more effective to simply have a second phone.