A messy car isn’t just embarrassing — it can be deadly. Even small objects can become dangerous projectiles in a crash. When a crash occurs and a vehicle comes to an abrupt stop, everything inside (including the cargo, driver and passengers) continues to move at the same rate of speed the vehicle was traveling before the collision.
In a 30 mph car crash, even an object as light as a one-pound computer tablet can transform into a missile with the force of a 40-pound bag of concrete. When a vehicle traveling 60 mph comes to a sudden stop, a 25-pound object can carry 1,625 pounds of force on impact. Gravity can carry loose objects up to 20 times the amount of force they would normally carry, meaning that groceries in the back seat can impact the driver and passenger with the same force as falling off the second story of a building.
If you drive a cluttered car, we recommend a thorough cleaning of your vehicle. Stow small items like phones or garage-door openers in a storage compartment. For heavier items like your groceries, secure them in the trunk or in a place with a restraint.
— Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas Traffic Safety Foundation President
June 16 is National Secure Your Load Day.!
Each year, over 51,000 car crashes are caused by debris on the road that fell from vehicles. See the dramatic impact of how loose items can impact drivers and passengers while in a vehicle in the video below.
(Go Magazine May/June 2019)