By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Do you leave a box of tissues on the parcel shelf or chuck your groceries on the back seat?
This might make you think twice – even the smallest, most innocent items can become dangerous projectiles in a car crash.
Those half-filled water bottles, canned goods, laptops, handbags and phones can hurtle through the air, potentially hitting you in the head, if your vehicle suddenly stops due to a collision.
In 2018, a toddler in Spain tragically died of injuries sustained by an incorrectly stored tablet computer, which became airborne when her mum’s car collided with a school bus.
Of course you need to transport items in your car, but there are safer ways to pack them so they don’t become hazardous. Here are 5 common items you should store carefully.
1. Wallets and phones
Small items such as phones and wallets can be dangerous if not secured properly. Storing them inside a closed compartment like a glove box or the centre console has a couple of benefits.
The items will be secure if you have an accident, and you won’t be tempted to use your mobile while driving.
Both paperbacks and hard cover books can be dangerous if not stored properly in your car. They can be heavy and have edges that could harm passengers during a crash.
If you want to keep books in your car, it might be worth buying organisers that you can hang on the back of the seats to store them.
It’s common to see cars with boxes of tissues sitting above the backseat, but this can be a dangerous place to leave them as they might fly forward if you stop suddenly.
Boxes have surprisingly sharp corners that could cause injury, so instead you should either put your tissues in the boot or keep an on-the-go travel pack in your glove box.
You rush out of the supermarket with a bag of groceries and shove it on the back seat before driving off.
Driving around the corner, a cat comes running out across the road – you slam on the brakes and your groceries tumble out of the bag.
While this scenario didn’t see the driver harmed, it’s quite common for groceries placed on the back seat to fall when you brake.
The best option here is to tie up your bags if you can, and place them in the boot. If you can’t put your groceries in the boot, put them on the floor.
5. Children’s toys
Having little ones in the car often leads to lots of stuff in the vehicle, including toys. Some children’s toys are heavy and others might be pointy – features that can make an item potentially dangerous in a car crash.
You should store children’s toys in a bag or backpack, then place that in either the rear footwell or the boot.
Leave the big toys at home, right next to the ones with pointy parts or hefty pieces.