Everybody knows that you should put your seat belt on, and if they don’t then I hope someone makes them, no matter where they sit in the car.

We’ve all seen clips of car crash tests with the crash test dummies going in all kind of weird directions. What do you think happens to everything else in the car? from sand grains on the floor to bags on the seats, it all flies around at the speed the car was going until it hit something or someone and transfers the kinetic energy onward.

Check this clip out for some explanations and this clip for some visualization.

FlyingBrolly4

Momentum – enough said.

The main thing to remember is that everything that can hurt you while it’s flying at road speeds should be placed in a place it can’t. This means that heavy things should be placed in the boot, if you have a car with an open cargo compartment then use tie downs or a net that can withstand the power (kinetic energy is a handful…), another option is placing things on the floor of the back seats so that they are secured in at least 3 directions (as long as no one is sitting in the back) and don’t forget the always handy glove compartment and center console for small things you need close by (in the age of Bluetooth and wireless you can easily put your phone there and still be able to interact with it).

Now, I’m well aware of the fact that we all have things that we’re not happy to tie down in out of reach place – from gadgets keeping the passengers quite to our small bag we like to put on the passenger seat beside us (at least put it on the floor…). I’m just saying that while we don’t use something we should put it away (and not leave it just as is on the seat). Doing this will lower the chances of injury in case of an emergency stop or accident.

sticky

They sell it! It can kill you, and they sell it! things have no place on the dashboard.

Done with it? Put it in the seat pocket.

Done with it? Put it in the seat pocket.

And that’s without stating the obvious of putting unused child boosters in the trunk or securing them with a seat belt (killed several in past years), keeping the car clean of bottles and such, maintaining the driver floor free of things that can impair the pedal movement or not driving with a cup of hot coffee in one hand (or somewhere in the car for that matter).

My point is that if you think about some of the things you have and do in the car you’ll clearly see that you should do differently – common sense is all that’s needed.