1 Accident Caused by a Messy Car Will Make You Think Twice About Throwing a Coffee Cup on the Floor

Sometimes it can be a little too easy to let clutter pile up in the car. A burger wrapper here, a tissue there. It seems harmless enough if a bit messy. However, letting trash accumulate in your vehicle isn’t just unsightly. It can also be an issue of car safety. Just ask the woman whose mound of debris caused her to land on a very embarrassing list due to an interesting accident. 

One of the strangest car accidents ever

The gas and brake pedals in a Toyota vehicle from a lot in San Diego, California
The gas and brake pedals in a Toyota vehicle | Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images

A Yarmouth, Massachusetts resident drew a lot of attention to herself back in 2007 when the clutter in her Ford Focus led to a bizarre wreck. Her car accident was so out of the ordinary, in fact, that she landed on 1-800 Injured‘s list of the 10 strangest car accidents of all time. 

It all began in a post office parking lot. As Waste 360 reports, Ann Biglan attempted to back out of her space when some trash interfered. However, keep in mind, this was not your ordinary car trash. Police reported that “the entire interior of the vehicle was filled with all sorts of trash and rubbish, which covered the complete interior of the vehicle from floor to ceiling, front and back.” In fact, Police would later discover that her house also showed evidence of hoarding.)

So, as Biglan was backing up, a piece of debris from the pile got lodged on the accelerator, causing her to continue in reverse at a high rate of speed. She backed over a curb and crossed busy Route 28 before crashing into a light pole and knocking it over.

Biglan wasn’t done there, however. After failing to regain control, she once more crossed Route 28 and collided with a Ford Explorer.  Continuing on her disastrous path, she drove over a sidewalk and ended her wreck against a giant gas station flower pot.

Keeping your vehicle organized is one key to avoiding car accidents

It’s unlikely that your car is in quite the condition that Biglan’s was. Nevertheless, your trash doesn’t need to be in such a drastic state to get under your feet or otherwise cause an accident while you’re driving. For that reason, it’s important to keep your car’s interior clean and organized. 

There are several simple steps you can take to keep your interior in a condition you can be proud of. First and foremost is to develop the simple habit of removing any litter from your vehicle every time you get home. This is particularly easy to do if you have a dedicated car waste bin. 

A car gap filler can also prevent items from falling out of reach and into crevices, only to reappear later under your feet. There are also backseat and trunk organizers that you can use to make sure that the items you regularly have with you stay in place. 

To cut down on clutter even more, make sure to avoid using disposable cups whenever possible. It’s a lot neater and simpler to have a reusable cup handy and stored in a dedicated cup holder to prevent spills. 

A clean vehicle exterior is also important

Of course, with all this focus on trash, we can’t forget our car’s exterior as well. Maintaining visibility is another significant factor in preventing car accidents.

One key to maintaining visibility is, of course, to make sure to keep your windshield regularly cleaned. A dirty windshield can make it difficult to see clearly in all directions and amplify already troublesome issues when faced with glare

It’s also essential to keep your car free of fallen leaves. Although they may seem harmless enough, they can get caught under your car’s wipers if they accumulate. Worse, they could clog air intakes and drain holes. Any of these situations could potentially end up causing an accident, should visibility or mechanical issues result. 

So, while it may seem a pain to attack dirt and litter regularly, the alternative is much less pleasant. Avoiding a messy car is one way to staying off the naughty list of the police and your insurance company. 

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