Loose Objects in Your Car are Unseen ThreatsArizona Legal News
Any loose object in your vehicle, whether large or small, can increase your likelihood of getting into an accident and your risk for serious injury during a crash. During a car crash, even a regular, 16 oz bottle of water can hit you with the force of a 21 lb object, according to the president of Driving Dynamics. Heavier items, such as groceries, laptops, or other hard objects can be lethal during a collision. Properly securing and storing cargo is vital to your safety; a clean car is both a presentable and safe one.
How to Store Cargo
Any loose object in your vehicle can become a danger while driving, so you should do your best to make sure everything in the car (passengers included) is secured properly.
- Store as much as you can in the trunk.
- If you store things in a truck bed, use tethers and cargo nets.
- Heavy objects should rest low to the ground at the foot of rear passenger seats.
- Secure booster seats properly and firmly.
- Avoid leaving anything on a passenger seat when possible.
- Use the glove compartment for personal items.
- Make sure unsecured objects are stored flush to the backsides of front seats.
Distracting Objects are Often Overlooked
Loose, small objects, while not able to cause injury in an accident, cannot be overlooked. Especially while driving with the windows down, small items can flutter around the vehicle and present sudden, unexpected distractions. Consider the following scenario: You’ve left mail or other documents on the passenger seat, but as you drive, they threaten to fly out of the window—in a panic, you try to catch them, taking a hand, both of your eyes, and all of your attention off the road for several seconds. You’re exponentially more likely to experience a high-speed collision during those moments, which could result in serious injury or loss of life.
Small, “harmless” objects like these are often overlooked, but should always be secured properly or removed from the vehicle:
- Grocery bags
- Loose papers
- Empty water bottles and other trash
- Soft-cover books or magazines
- Loose hats, even while worn
Pets Need to be Secured
Dogs and other pets are extremely dangerous to have in a vehicle without proper precautions. They can be distracting, become heavy, flying objects in a crash, and furthermore are at risk of losing their lives without restraints. If you need to drive with your pet, use a crate, and either secure it to a seat or place it low to the ground, flush against the rear of a passenger seat. Alternatively, doggy seat belts and similar certified restraint systems can be used to keep yourself and your pets safe.
Arizona Accident Attorneys Can Clarify Your Responsibility
Arizona uses a comparative fault system, meaning that your recoveries will be reduced in direct proportion to how many of your injuries and damages were your fault. If you were in an accident, failing to secure objects in your vehicle renders you liable for any injuries they caused, making cases around them more complex. An experienced auto accident attorney in Arizona can help guide you through the claims process and maximize your settlement, even if you were hurt by loose items, so please—contact us at (623) 321-0566 to schedule a free consultation.