Deadly car crashes are thought to be the most common cause of death on the open road. But the truth is, the impact of your iPhone or a seemingly innocent bobble head toy in a car crash may be more dangerous than the collision itself.
In fact, an ongoing study in the US has shown that out of nearly 13,000 accidents involving children studied, 3,000 of those children were injured from loose objects found inside the vehicle. The rest of the study's findings suggest that not only are loose objects unsafe in the event of a collision, but they can even cause death in emergency braking.
So, the next time you get in your vehicle, you may want to think twice about where you place that harmless apple, pen or lipgloss. Because as it turns out, the most unsuspecting objects in your car are the ones that can kill you in an accident.
13 Your Cell Phone
While texting and driving is the number one killer in accidents involving cell phones, cell phones can also harm you in an accident when they’re left loose in your car. Most people place their cell phones beside them in a cupholder for easy access and even as a safety measure in the event of an accident, to make a quick emergency phone call. But a flying cell phone could end up being a cause of death in a car accident, especially if it goes flying and tragically hits the side of your head.
12 A Kleenex Box
You may not believe that the soft, fluffy, comforting material that dries your tears is actually a lethal item that can kill you- in a car crash that is.
That’s right, if you keep a Kleenex box in your car just in case you encounter an unexpected, heart-wrenching breakup, you may want to move it to the trunk. When a Kleenex box is loose in your vehicle during an accident, it can cause far more pain than any sad romance. According to Mythbusters, small objects can strike you at 30 times their weight in the event of a collision. As Bob Marley would probably say, “So dry your tears, I seh! No Kleenex box, no cry.”
11 A Water Bottle
If you get in a car crash and you have a loose water bottle in your vehicle, the impact of the water bottle can be heavier than a stationary case of 30 cans of black beans. This is exactly why a catapulting water bottle can become more harmful in a car crash than the accident itself.
So, even if you’re panting with thirst in the middle of the Sahara desert, be sure to leave your water bottles safely locked up in the trunk.
As seen on the show Hoarders, garbage isn’t all that safe. But this is especially true in the event of a car wreck. Whether it’s old Barbie dolls or empty McDonald's quarter pounder boxes, or anything else you might’ve come across (we’re not here to judge), a piece of garbage could be the cause of death in a car accident, rather than the collision.
Hopefully the garbage that ends up loose in your vehicle isn’t something as heavy as a flat tire. But if you’ve ever needed some motivation to clean out your vehicle, perhaps now’s the perfect time, before a loose piece of garbage blindsides you in a car crash.
9 An iPod
iPod’s may have caused the death of the Discman, but they can also kill humans in car crashes too. While it’s agreed that driving is boring without a classic Nicki Minaj jam, a loose iPod can hit any passenger in your vehicle in a car crash and seriously injure or kill them.
So, if you can’t handle driving without your slow jamz, you may want to try connecting your iPod to a Bluetooth system in your vehicle. The hands-free option for your iPod will allow you to keep it tucked away safely in your trunk, without compromising your music- or killing anyone.
8 Another Passenger
Humans can be loose objects too. It almost sounds too obvious, but the importance of seatbelts can never be understated. If someone isn’t wearing a seatbelt in your vehicle during a car crash, not only can they go flying through your windshield but they can collide with another person in the vehicle. Since the impact of a flying object (yes, even if it’s a human) can hold up to 30 times it’s weight in a car crash, a 100 pound person may become the equivalent of a 3,000 pound person. That’s just as deadly as being crushed by an elephant.
Apples, oranges and pears, oh my! Fruit is so good for you, as long as it’s not airborne in a car crash. Picking up groceries may be a necessary part of human life, but if you leave your groceries in the back or front seat, you are at serious risk of dying in the event of a car crash. Since produce isn’t likely the only thing you’ve picked up in a grocery store, the impact of an object can be much worse than that of an innocent fruit. Just imagine a bottle of laundry detergent taking flight from your backseat. If its final destination is your head, then it certainly qualifies as an object that can kill you in an accident.
6 An Phone Charger
If you get in a car accident with a loose phone charger in your vehicle, the impact of the charger in the front seat can affect anyone in your vehicle, as you never know which direction a loose object will go in a car crash.
5 A Book
If you were the lucky heir of a hardcover copy of Huckleberry Finn, please do yourself a favor and keep it safely stored on your bookshelf. The impact of a book or magazine in your vehicle can kill you in a car crash, never mind a hardcover classic that weighs as much as a beginner’s dumbbell. (As a side note, please don’t keep dumbbells in your car, either.)
Understandably, there are books that must be in vehicles, such as car manuals. But to avoid getting seriously injured in a car crash, keep those babies locked up in your console where they aren’t a threat to you or your passengers.
4 A Laptop
3 Your Purse
You know what men like to say to poke fun at a woman’s purse: “Do you have the whole kitchen sink in there?”. Well, imagine a kitchen sink flying at you during a car crash- no bueno. So, while it’s comforting to know that everything your purse can hold is beside you in the front seat, consider moving your Michael Kors to the trunk. Putting your purse out of sight just might save you and your passengers from the impact of loose objects in a collision which could cause fatal injury and death.
2 A Shoe
1 A Fork
Sure, you may need to eat your breakfast or lunch on the road every once in awhile (in which choking on food is actually another safety hazard in a collision) but for your safety, ensure all utensils are stored and locked away so that they won’t be a risk to you in a car crash.