I remember reading a few years ago about a woman in Edmonton who was in a car crash while driving home from the grocery store. She had just purchased a frozen turkey for her family’s Thanksgiving dinner and placed it in the back seat of the car.
While the crash itself was not serious, the woman sustained major injuries because the frozen turkey flew off the back seat and whacked her in the head.
While this story provides some dark humour, loose objects in a moving vehicle can result in serious injury which is no laughing matter. By applying some common sense about loading and storing objects in your car, you can avoid creating potentially lethal missiles powered by sharp turns or abrupt breaking.
Always keep the interior or your car neat and organized. Store large objects, such as luggage and bags of groceries, in the trunk of the car. If you must use the back seat, ensure that the maximum amount of the object’s surface area makes contact with the seat by wedging it for a secure fit.
Never store loose objects on the dashboard or centre console. Items such as CD cases, loose change and mobile devices should be placed in the car’s proper storage compartments to avoid distractions caused by flying objects when turning corners or quick stops.
Check your floor space to ensure there are no objects on the driver’s side that can cause a pedal jam and inhibit you from keeping control of the vehicle. Ensure floor mats are properly placed so they don’t inch forward every time you get into your car.
When quaffing a coffee or other beverage, use the built-in drink holders instead of holding the cup in your hand or resting it between your legs. Also, while it may be convenient to place a handbag or brief case on the passenger’s seat for easy access, you shouldn’t be distracted by fumbling around for an item while driving. This is a tough one; keep those briefcases and handbags in a place where you will need to stop the car to retrieve what you need.
As demonstrated in the story about the woman driving home with her Thanksgiving turkey, even a small accident can cause objects to transform into lethal projectiles and result in serious injury or death.