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Can having a messy car be dangerous?

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

February 6, 2019

Driving advice Owning a car 4 min read

When you first get your car you swear to yourself that you won’t let it become messy, but a couple of empty coffee cups and stray coats later and you realise your car is slowly turning into some kind of mess filled can. But who can blame us? For some our cars are like our second home and we’ll likely spend a lot of time in them, running errands, being stuck in traffic, or heading off on road trips. And let’s face it… no one actually remembers to clean out the rubbish after every drive, do they? It’s normal for a car to get messy, but do you know the dangers for when it gets too messy?

How does mess become a threat?

Whilst leaving one too many food wrappers on the floor may not seem like an issue, it actually can be. Below we’ve listed a few of the things that we often leave in our cars which can become a hazard.

Mess on the loose

You probably won’t think twice about the empty can of coke in the back of the car that you forgot about – however it can become a pretty dangerous hazard. If it were to roll to the front of the car, it can become lodged under the brake, clutch or gas pedal which for obvious reasons is a very dangerous thing to happen. It will also be unexpected which can cause panic for any driver.

Loose objects can also be sent flying around the car should you need to brake suddenly. Small objects like water bottles, sports balls or even a box of tissues on your parcel shelf can make a dramatic impact. Gravity can force these objects to hit at 20 times greater than normal should you be in a crash – meaning those innocent items in your car can become deadly.


It’s a health hazard

Leaving food and drink packaging in your car can be a big health threat. Remains of food and drink can mean your car quickly becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, especially in summer months when temperatures rise. Aside from creating a pretty awful smell that you’ll have to deal with, it could also make you very poorly.

Having pets in your car has the same affect. They can bring in mud, dust, bugs and all the other lovely things that come with our furry friends. Whilst many people may put a sheet down before their four legged friend hops on board, the bacteria they bring is often left behind.

How do I fix it?

Cleaning out your rubbish regularly will of course, prevent things from building up. If you do find yourself putting empty cans or bottles down when in your car, try to put them in the cup holders – at least that way they’re less likely to get in your way. It’s also a good idea to tell your passengers not to leave their rubbish in your car – perhaps put a small waste bag/bin in the car for them to put their rubbish.

After you’ve had pets in your car, giving it a quick vacuum and general freshening up will likely pick up most of the debris they leave behind (the car… not the dog).


We know that it’s unlikely you’ll turn into a car clean freak after reading this blog, but we hope it does give you something to think about and hopefully you’ll make small changes on the inside of the car to help you all around. Keeping your car clean not only reduces the dangers mentioned, but it also makes trips much more enjoyable because, let’s face it, a horrible smell coming from the two week old McDonald’s wrapper isn’t what anyone really wants on a road trip.

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Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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