Recent studies have shown that many drivers are increasing the risk of injury or death in automobile accidents by leaving items unsecured. Safety expert, Sean Kane of Safety Research and Strategies, told Good Morning America that ordinary loose items in cars and trucks are responsible for 13,000 injuries each year. Those half-filled water bottles, canned goods, and laptops could all become dangerous projectiles when hurling through the air during high-speed collisions. At 55 miles per hour, a 20-pound object hits with 1,000 pounds of force -- so powerful that a suitcase can literally shear off the arm of a crash test dummy. Sadly, many drivers are completely oblivious to the dangers of serious injuries until it is too late, as was the case for Heather Storey. Heather was driving 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 causing horrific fatal injuries that she succumbed to.
A recent segment of Good Morning America offered several tips for protecting yourself and your passengers. First, drivers should only pack items in the trunk or cargo area of their vehicle, where they are less likely to intrude into the passenger compartments. If your car has a cargo area, utilize the cargo nets, anchors, and tethers to secure the cargo. Perhaps most importantly, if it is not important to your drive, leave the object at home rather than taking it with you in the front seat or placing it in the back seat. This gives people a good reason to clean out their cars. Drivers can also utilize storage compartments better, like glove compartments, and pack large, heavier objects low to the ground, against fixed components, and centered inside the vehicle. By doing this, the unsecured objects will not build up momentum in the event of a crash. Additionally, all passengers should wear a seat belt. The danger of unrestrained passengers during a car crash can result in fatal or serious injuries.
There is no foolproof way to avoid a car accident, but drivers can take steps to minimize the potential for injury or loss of life. Cleaning out your vehicle, removing large and small items, and not leaving unnecessary heavy objects in your vehicle are two of those ways. By taking these steps, drivers can help reduce the chance of injury should they be unfortunate enough to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.
If you've been involved in a high-speed collision, talk to our personal injury attorneys today. With one call, we handle all the legal advice and details so you can focus on what's most important - your well-being.