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Want your car’s airbags to work in an accident? Then get the junk out of your car

by respaced on August 29, 2011

See? The Lego airbags didn’t deploy because there was too much clutter under the front and passenger seats.

?A while back, I wrote a post about the danger a cluttered car poses in the event of a car accident. The clutter can become airborne, acting as projectiles and slamming into people at the same speed at which the car was traveling. How would you like to get hit in the head with your metal water bottle at 60 mph?

I suggested that if people have to travel with certain things in the car that are not practical to store in the trunk, put them under the seats instead.

But recently, I learned this is a practice that can be deadly during a car crash. Ted Phillips, owner of Safety System Service, a subcontractor of Fix Auto Sunset, informed us the mechanism that controls the deployment of airbags is usually located under your front or passenger seats. If you put too much junk under your seats, it can damage this mechanism. The result? You have no airbags when that semi truck crashes into you at 55 mph on the freeway. Yikes.

So I’m revising my original advice. Don’t store stuff under your front and passenger seats. Store it on the ground behind the seats, where it can’t slide underneath and is least likely to become a projectile. Keep the stuff to a bare minimum. Maybe consider drinking out of a soft-sided plastic water bottle instead of a metal one.

Keeping your car clutter-free can save your life! Don’t those Lego people wish they had known that …

Image courtesy of RoolRool at Flickr.

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