We’re all guilty of stashing our trash, receipts, loose change, etc. somewhere in our vehicle. Coffee cups and water bottles can often be cast aside haphazardly as you go about your busy day. But these items can lead to bigger problems than just an unsightly mess. Take the time to clean out your vehicle to keep you and your family safe on the road. Vehicle debris/clutter/trash can cause:
That old bottle that’s been rattling around under your seat has the potential to roll under the brake or gas pedal, which means you might not be able to stop or speed up when you need to. This can obviously have dire consequences and cause damage to you, your vehicle and/or an innocent bystander. That bottle, can, or take-out container can prevent you from hitting the brakes when you come to an intersection or get under the accelerator meaning you can’t come up to speed while merging onto the highway.
Many people get stressed when they are driving, especially in heavy traffic. Your environment can have a big impact on your mood and stress levels. Keeping your vehicle neat and tidy, while it may not get rid of the traffic, can put you in a calmer emotional state. If you are already aggravated, the fact that you are surrounded with clutter is only going to add to the aggravation and could lead to road rage.
Old food, spills, or containers can attract unwanted guests – rodents and other pests might make themselves right at home. They might surprise you while you are driving, which would cause quite a distraction but they can also cause damage to your vehicle. For example, they could chew the upholstery and/or wires and hoses which may lead to dangerous gas or fluid leaks. Rodents are also harmful to your health since they can carry potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.
Mold and Dust
Your vehicle has many spaces where mold and dust can grow and flourish. They thrive off of spoiled food, dampness caused by spilled drinks, and human and pet dander. Crumbs can easily turn moldy, inviting a host of health problems.
Tidying and Organization Tips
- Keep a Garbage Bin/Bag – Use a bag attached to a seat back or a small bin lined with a plastic bag and make sure to routinely empty it.
- Check Before You Leave – Take a peek under your seat and on the floor to ensure there are no loose items prior to putting your car in drive.
- Organized Compartments – Come up with a system for organizing places where items tend to accumulate including the visor, glove box and centre console. Ideas include a grid organizer, a coupon organizer or re-purposing a shower caddy.
- The Usual Suspects – There are certain items that are constantly cluttering your vehicle. Instead of having your phone slide around, invest in a phone mount or better yet, avoid distraction by stashing it securely out of sight.
- Avoid Eating in the Vehicle – Drive throughs are convenient and hectic schedules often prompt meals on the run, but try to avoid having food in your vehicle. If you do eat, clean up any garbage, crumbs, or spills immediately.