For many people, their vehicle can act as their second home. They use their car to get to work, school, recreational activities and road trip destinations as well as in running day-to-day errands.
Often times, there isn’t time in our hectic schedules to go home between activities and many drivers end up having to pack their car with all the items they require throughout the day. With all of this, it’s normal for a car to get messy. However, do you know about the dangers of having a messy car?
It doesn’t take long for clutter to build inside cars. There are items such as sunglasses, snowbrushes and scrapers that you often expect to see. Add to that fast food packaging, candy wrappers, empty drink containers, groceries, sports equipment and children’s toys, and behold, a messy car has evolved.
How exactly do these types of items pose a threat? Loose objects can be sent flying through the air if you have to brake suddenly. While small objects may seem unthreatening at first glance, the Canada Safety Council notes that the National Roads and Motorists’ Association states, “the force of gravity can mean a loose object packs 20 times the punch it would normally”. This includes water bottles, groceries and sports equipment such as soccer and footballs. Loose items in your car can also fall on the floor and present further hazards. For example, pop cans can roll on the floor of your vehicle and get lodged under your gas or brake pedals.
We recommend reducing the risk of having loose objects fly through the air by stowing items away in secure areas. For example, you can store your sunglasses and emergency flashlight in your glove compartment. Many cars also have added compartments beside the driver’s seat with storage space that can be used for additional items. All drink containers should be placed in cup holders when not in use. Items such as sports equipment, groceries, backpacks, emergency safety kits and blankets should be safely stowed in your trunk.
Encourage passengers in the back seats to store books, magazines and electronic devices such as tablets in the pockets attached to the back of the driver and front passenger seats. If you have young children who require items such as toys and drink bottles, consider purchasing a backseat car organizer. These organizers are designed to easily attach to the back of the front two seats, and have numerous compartments to store items in an organized and secure manner.
Garbage left from food and beverage packaging can also pose health hazards. The remnants of food and beverages can cause your car to become a breeding ground for bacteria, especially in the summer when temperatures can soar. Likewise, pets often bring soil and dust into cars with them.
When it comes to eating and drinking, you should avoid both while driving. If your passengers consume food or drink in your car, they should act as if they are eating at home, meaning they should clean up their garbage as well as any spills. It’s also a good idea to clean up after pets on a regular basis to eliminate debris left behind.
When driving your second home around town, it’s important to keep in mind that just like your actual home, it’s always a good idea to keep it organized and clutter free. Not only will this help reduce the dangers discussed, but will make your car trips much more enjoyable for yourself and passengers. Likewise, it is just as important to ensure you have adequate up-to-date insurance protection for your car, just as would for your home. Our BrokerLink brokers are happy to review your auto policy with you and explain your options, including how you may be able to save by bundling your home and auto insurance policies together.