If you are a careful driver, take good care of your car, and wear your seatbelt, you could still be overlooking a hazard hidden in plain sight. That hazard is loose objects lying around inside your car. If this is the first time you’ve heard of this danger, then you are in good company. Most of us are either unaware of or have given the matter little thought, yet it can cause needless accidents, injuries, and auto insurance claims.
The Injury Potential of Unsecured Objects
While everyone understands what can happen to a person unsecured by a seatbelt, most fail to apply the same logic to the loose objects in their car. In an accident, a seatbelt prevents you from becoming a flying “object” that crashes into the windshield.
However, your coffee mug, the laptop in the backseat, as well as other assorted objects behind and beside you can become flying missiles hurtling at speeds approaching your car’s speed at the instant of a sudden impact. These are speeds similar to flying baseballs and hockey pucks. The difference is that many of the loose objects in your car are heavier and can cause greater injury to yourself and your passengers.
This is another reason why everyone must wear their seatbelts. A seatbelt not only ensures the safety of its user, but prevents that person from becoming a “missile” and harming others in the car.
Another Danger of Unsecured Objects
Loose objects in the car can also cause an accident. If an emergency maneuver requires hard braking and steering, the clutter around you may end up in the front with you. This can interfere with steering and possibly your ability to see the road. Another reason for wearing a seatbelt is that it holds you in place when executing an emergency maneuver. However, loose objects may negate this benefit.
Keep the loose objects in the front seat inside your glove compartment. Don’t place anything on the seats behind you. Small objects on the floor behind you can slide under your seat to the front and interfere with operating the gas and brake pedals. Use your trunk for storing things while your car is moving. If something isn’t needed, leave it home.
Check out our article “3 Ways to Reduce Your Auto Insurance Without Sacrificing Coverage“.