10th June 2024

Safely on the road with PET bottles

Whether travelling to a distant destination or taking a short trip, if you travel by car, you usually have food and drinks with you. Having a plastic bottle within reach ensures a little more safety in the car, as glass bottles quickly break in an accident. 

Two kids sitting in the car drinking from PET bottles

Having a plastic bottle within reach ensures a little more safety in the car.

The load needs to be protected

When it comes to safety in the car, we first think of brakes, tyres, lights, high-visibility vests, warning triangles, first-aid kits and, of course, seat belts. However, the load inside the vehicle also needs to be protected. When it is well secured and packed, the risk is reduced. Sudden traffic manoeuvres can quickly result in unsecured objects becoming a hazard, obscuring the view and injuring occupants.

Exponential force and risk of breakage

Force equals mass times velocity. Force is considerable, even at comparatively low speeds. If the brakes are slammed on, or if there is a head-on collision at a speed of just 50 kilometres per hour, unsecured items of luggage develop an enormous impact weight – up to 50 times their normal weight. This also makes lighter objects such as drinks and snack cans a potential hazard. Particularly fragile utensils such as glass bottles carry a high risk of injury. They shatter on impact and the fragments become sharp projectiles.

Plastic for safety on the road 

The German motoring club, ADAC, uses a crash test to highlight the risk of accidents if loads are not secured and provides valuable tips. Amongst other things, the club advises against leaving breakage-prone items freely in the interior. ADAC spokesman Michael Gebhardt adds, ‘There is always a risk of glass bottles breaking if there is a crash and the shards then injuring the occupants. The risk can be minimised safely if the bottles are transported in closed bags, though plastic bottles can also be used as an alternative.’ 

When loading the car, utmost care must always be taken – especially in the interior. If you pack well and thoroughly, you can also store more. Here are a few simple tips for your next trip: secure all loose items firmly in place and, ideally, use unbreakable plastic bottles. After all, safety comes first.

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