If your car is mess, like many other peoples’ cars that I know, you might not realize that those small objects lying around in the backseat could actually be fatal in a car accident. For example, something as small and seemingly harmless as a plastic water bottle could become a lethal torpedo if it’s traveling through the air at speeds of 30 mph during a car crash. Needless to say, if you have other heavier items in your backseat, they could be even more dangerous than the smaller items.
In fact, Consumer Reports Director of Auto Testing, David Champion, says that loose items in your car can pose a serious danger. Champion particularly urges drivers to stow heavier items underneath the seats in the car or strap them down. In is especially important to stow the heaviest items as far up front as you can under the seats and then strap them down. Then, once items are secured, place softer objects on top. He also adds that SUV drivers should avoid packing anything on the roof. Since SUVs have a higher center of gravity than a sedan (which also makes them more likely to tip over), when you pack things on top of the roof of the SUV you make it more likely to rollover in a crash. Finally, make sure you don’t over pack your car with items during a road trip: check the owner’s manual or the inside of the car door for maximum weight guidelines for your vehicle.
Sadly, it was most likely a laptop that killed a young woman named Heather Storey. Heather was driving in her car in 2009 when she was hit by a tow truck. Subsequently, Heather’s computer turned into a deadly projectile and flew into her head and neck. It is devastating and horrifically surprising stories like these that might make you want to clean up the loose items in your car before hitting the road.