Loose Objects Pose a Serious Risk in Auto Accidents

November 25, 2017 — by Mark T. Flickinger, JD
Tags: Auto Accidents

A turned over car after an auto accidentLoose objects in cars can become dangerous projectiles in the event of a car accident, potentially causing serious injuries or fatalities. Consulting an auto accident attorney can help those who have been injured in a car accident obtain the compensation they deserve.

Experienced in personal injury claims involving auto accidents and loose objects in the car, the Salt Lake City, UT legal team at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton, are ready to help you in your time of need. Here, we take a moment to consider the dangers of loose objects in auto accidents and how you can protect yourself and your passengers.

The Dangers of Loose Objects in Auto Accidents

Loose objects can pose a serious risk in auto accidents. This is because unsecured items don't stop when a car suddenly stops. Instead, loose objects will continue to move at the speed at which the vehicle was moving at the time of impact. This can cause ordinary objects, like cell phones, books, or full water bottles, to speed through a car and potentially hit passengers. When such items travel at high speeds, as seen in freeway accidents, a small item like a cell phone can have a painful, sometimes fatal, impact.

In addition to causing injury, loose objects themselves can cause car accidents. Loose items placed in the driver's side footwell can get stuck beneath the break pedal or gas pedal, preventing a driver from safely breaking or interfering with acceleration. Improperly designed floor mats can also become lodged beneath a break pedal, potentially causing a wrongful death accident.

Loose objects can also lead to distracted driving car crashes. For example, a bag stored on the front passenger seat may fall and spill, causing a driving to take his or her attention off the road.

Tips to Protect Yourself and Passengers from Loose Objects

Taking the time to secure or store loose objects safely can help protect yourself and your passengers from projectile objects in the event of a car crash.

  • Place items in your trunk: Place loose items in your car's trunk to keep items from becoming a distraction while driving or from becoming a projectile during an accident. Heavy items should be stored toward the center and as close to the front of the trunk as possible to reduce the amount of momentum they may build in a car crash. 
  • Use a rear hatch cargo cover: If your vehicle is a hatchback with an open cargo area instead of a trunk, use a rear hatch cargo cover when storing items in the cargo area. Nets and tethers may also be used to further secure items.
  • Stow small items in the glove compartment: Keep small loose items, such as cell phones and sunglasses, safely inside your car's glove compartment. Although small items may not seem like they would pose much of a hazard, a crash at high speeds will increase the force at which small items will impact passengers.
  • Place items behind the front passenger seat: Items that must be placed inside a vehicle and can't be stored in a trunk or cargo area should be placed on the floor (or as low as possible) and against the back of the front passenger seat. Items should also be positioned in such a way to limit movement or shifting.
  • Keep your car free of clutter: Keep your car free of clutter to limit the number of items that may become dangerous projectiles in the event of a car crash.
  • Insist that passengers buckle-up: Passengers who don't wear a seatbelt can be thrown from a vehicle, just like loose objects. Wearing a seatbelt is one the most effective ways to survive a car crash and should be worn at all times.

Contact the Car Accident Attorneys of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

If you have been injured in a car accident, the car accident attorneys of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help you secure compensation for your injuries. To learn more about your legal options, please contact our firm to schedule a consultation.