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19 Everyday Hazards In Our Car

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19 Everyday Hazards In Our Car

Water bottles can set fire to your car!

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Who would have known a bottle of water could be so dangerous? If you leave a plastic bottle of water in the car and the sun shines through at the right angle, it’s effectively like a magnifying glass. The intense heat from the sun can increase the temperature massively and before you know it, you have a situation like the above.

Mobile phones can quickly distract you from the road

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While mobile phones can certainly be useful when they’re hands-free, being distracted by your cell can ultimately be dangerous (I’m thinking of That scene in Grey’s Anatomy). It’s always best to either set up your phone before you leave, or avoid using it at all.

The stereo can blast out all concentration

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We all love to listen to music in the car – it can help a journey go a little faster and can get us in the right mindset (especially before work). But just like your phone, it can be a disaster if you let it distract you. Make sure to set up your music before you leave, or go old school and purchase a CD player!

Cigarettes are a flammable disaster

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Driving can be stressful and sometimes, all we want is a cigarette. However, you need to make sure you’re aware that you are lighting something on fire while operating a manual vehicle. It’s easy to get sidetracked and forget where you put it. Also who wants their car to stink of cigarette smoke?

Lighters can set light to more than just a cigarette

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So you saw what I said about plastic water bottles? Can you imagine leaving a lighter on the dashboard? Its liquid is specifically designed to light fires, so it is a recipe for disaster. Keep matches in your in-case-of-emergency kit and stay away from lighters!

The airbag can pop off!

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Airbags are supposed to save lives, not take them. These can deploy at even the smallest trigger, like a speed bump, so be aware that they could deploy at anytime. They’re life-saving but they can too be a distraction. And even if you’re listening to a great song, or you’re raging, don’t bang on the steering wheel, no matter how good it feels.

Heavy boxes are an absolute death trap

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It’s not often that you have heavy boxes in the car, but make sure you’re incredibly careful when you do. Any hard brake could fling the weight into the back of your seat, or the passenger’s seat, so be vigilant and keep them in the trunk and drive carefully.

Children’s screaming can lead to disaster!

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“Are we there yet?” Those car journeys are always the absolute worst. It’s important to be aware that even those lovely tots can leads to a million distractions. Unpopping seat belts, fights with their siblings, random outbursts of crying. They can make for dastardly travelling companions.

Your partner could sabotage your journey

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Whether you’re in the depths of an argument, or a heated discussion after a family visit gone wrong, or perhaps you’re making each other laugh, your partner can still be hazardous whilst you’re driving. Keep your eyes on the road and think of their safety, as well as yours.

Your pet is a huge distraction

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My little pup hates to travel, so he screams the entire time we’re in the car. It often leads to a lot of fussing over him, which is not ideal when I’m supposed to be keeping my eyes on the road. See if there’s someone else they can stay with, or keep them in the back. Again, it’s about keeping them safe.

Umbrellas

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An odd one for sure! We’ve all had that one umbrella that rolls around under the seat asw we’re driving. They can be useful when it’s raining but not when you’re pondering what that sound is as it makes its way under your feet. Make sure to keep it in the side pocket or in the trunk.

Air fresheners

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The sweet smell of pine can make or break a commute I find, and the Yankee candle air fresheners are simply divine. But they can absolutely get in the way of the road and populate your car as a huge blindspot. Keep it to just one, and replace it, don’t add another one when there’s already one swinging.

Cups

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The issue with having cups in the car, especially if they’re from McDonalds or Burger King, is that they’re unbelievably flimsy and the plastic lids fall off them constantly. They spill everywhere and you can find yourself reaching for your cup, Diet Coke spilling everywhere and your attention falls onto that instead of the road.

Laptops and iPads

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One more email! Today, there is always a to do list as long as your arm to get done, so setting up your laptop so it’s ready at traffic lights, poised to send an email, may seem like a smart thing to do. However, it is another hazard and will certainly take your attention away from driving.

Food

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Roadtrips mean that we often want to make sure we have something to eat. But food can not only distract you as you’re watching your partner spill tuna mayo all over your brand new seats, on a hot day, it is a breeding ground for bacteria and can be hazardous for your health, as well as your upholstery.

Purse/wallet

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Digging around the seats, checking the dashboard, rummaging through your pockets so you can pay at the drive-thru, or the toll road, or to flash your license is a ultimately going to hinder you. Make sure to keep you purse or wallet in the door pocket, or somewhere you’re 100% sure, rather than struggling to find it and running into a lampost.

Glass

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If you thought plastic was bad, glass is its even more mischievous cousin. Not only does it have a similar effect to glass, causing your car to become a hot box, it also has the ability to break, and with that comes tiny shards of glass in a vehicle that is already a death trap.

Wet beach gear

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Possibly not an issue if you’re inland, but wet beach gear can be a breeding ground for bacteria. The heat, especially on a hot day, of the car can cause any bacteria to increase and multiply, and spread to the rest of your vehicle. Make sure to keep it fastened up in the trunk.

Medication

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Anything you can drop in your car and find it impossible to find, running one hand over the ground while the other is on the steering wheel, is a no-go, but pills can be the worst of them all. Leaving pills in your car can lead to spillages, or, even worse, on a hot day, it can change their properties and lead to health issues.

Your handbag

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Having your bag on the passenger seat can be handy, I can’t dispute that. But when you’re trying to rummage around for your lip balm, taking your attention off the road, it can lead to disaster. It is also a huge green flag to thieves who may break into your car. Keep it in the trunk or tucked under a seat.

Canned beverages

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Maybe drinking in the car isn’t the best option! Cans can be convenient when you’re trying to stay hydrated, but they are also lethal on a hot day. The increase in temperature can increase the pressure in the can, with some drivers even witnessing their can explode! Now that is a distraction!

The rearview mirror

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Most drivers are being thoughtful when they flash you with their headlights; they’re letting you know that there is a hazard on the road, or your headlights are not on. But it can be very easy to get carried away with what’s going behind you and forget what’s in front of you.

Important documents

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It might seem like documents shouldn’t be a concern, but leaving them in your car, especially overnight, can increase the possibility of scams and break-ins enormously. Anything of importance should be stored away from prying eyes, or not left in your car at all.

Hand sanitiser

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Much like a plastic water bottle, a plastic hand sanitiser can lead to the possibility of your car setting on fire. But it equally contains alcohol, a natural fire starter, so it is especially important to stay vigilant if you want to stay hygenic. Either make sure to keep a bottle in your door pocket, or keep a little tube in your bag instead.

The windscreen

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The windscreen should be the least of your concerns but how often do you find yourself looking at a crack, or wiping the stem build up? It is important to remember how focussed you need to remain whilst you’re driving, and if you do have a crack in your windscreen, get it fixed ASAP.

Aerosol cans

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Aerosol cans, unless stored in a grocery bag, should absolutely not be in your car. They can go off at the slightest pressure, they are prone to the heat, and they are extremely flammable. Another item you do not want rolling around under your seat for sure.

Eyewear

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If you keep your glasses or sunglasses in a little box, this is not for you. This is for the drivers who keep their eyewear on the dashboard or in visible line with the sun; make sure you put your glasses away, rather than letting them overheat and potentially start a fire.

Makeup and cosmetics

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Not only can the glass of your foundation bottle work as a magnifying glass, doing your makeup whilst you’re driving is a huge hazard. If your concentration is on your face and not on the road, it can lead to accidents. Do your face at home, or pull over.

Decorative stickers

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Decorative stickers can be so fun, I don’t dispute that, but if you have anything like the one above, it can be a talking point that leads you to be slightly preoccupied. Equally, any sticker that looks even remotely like an animal or person will surprise you at some point, I promise!

Golf balls

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Not an obvious one at all, but golf balls are horrendous hazards to have rolling around in your car. They can lead to ambiguous noises or they can even get caught under the pedals, which can lead to a loss of control of the vehicle. Keep them bundled up and in the trunk.


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