Responsible motorists use their seat belts because they understand the kind of harm that flying into a dashboard at 60 mph can do. Parents also protect their infants from the same danger by using child safety seats. At the same time however, they use the passenger areas of their cars for carrying their computers, smart phones, tablets, suitcases, and coffee flasks. What they fail to understand is that unless those loose items are secured, they can become dangerous missiles flying at 60 mph toward the front of the car in an accident.
The Two Dangers of Loose Objects
- Impact injury. Fast moving objects strike with a lot of force. Even lightweight objects can do a lot of harm. For example, a baseball only weighs 5 ounces yet it can do a lot of damage after being struck by a bat. They can easily attain speeds of 65 mph which is the same speed that your suitcase or toolkit in the backseat will reach in an accident.
- Interference with control of your car. Another danger of loose objects, especially those in the front seat within arm’s reach, is that sudden evasive maneuvers can cause them to lodge in very inconvenient places such as under your brake pedal. Scalding hot coffee splashing against your person can cause you to lose control of your car.
Now that you are aware of the danger, here is how you can protect yourself and your passengers:
- Clean out your car. Many people tend to live out of their cars and leave lots of unnecessary things lying around. If you don’t need something in your car, leave it at home.
- Use your glove compartment. For personal items such as your cell phone and items for the purpose of driving such as sunglasses and GPS devices, use the glove compartment.
- Use the trunk or cargo area. Long term items for the car such as tools and heavier short-term items belong in the trunk. If your vehicle has a cargo area instead, secure items in place with rope or cord and safety nets.
- Finally, when there is no room for a heavy object in your trunk, place it on the floor and wedge it tightly against the back side of the front seat. This should prevent it from picking up momentum in an accident. However, if you can avoid placing it in your car, then do so because it can cause great harm in a rollover accident.
If another motorist injured you in an accident, there is no reason you should suffer because of an inadequate insurance payout. Columbia personal injury attorneys are available to advise you of your legal options. Contact us at Harris & Graves, P. A today.