We’re all guilty of leaving things in our cars from time to time. Some of us are messier than others; we know some drivers that treat their cars like a second home while others keep them looking as if they just left the dealership! To be quite frank – your vehicle should be used for transportation, not for storage… but we say this for your own health and security, we promise! There are some items that can do more harm to you and your passengers than you may have ever imagined. We’ve compiled a short and easy to read list of 8 items you should never leave in your car. So, the next time you’re feeling too lazy to bring in the half-empty water bottle your nephew left in your back seat, remember these below safety issues…
Items You Should Never Leave in Your Car
Having a bottle of sunscreen with you during the summer is, of course, a smart idea. But leaving a sunscreen bottle in your car? Not so much… Exposing sunscreen to high temperatures can shorten its shelf life, thus leaving it ineffective and less protective when you use it. Not to mention, if the heat causes the bottle to explode open – you’ll be left with a seriously smelly mess.
It is very important to not store flammable liquids in your car, especially during summer in Maryland. The flammable fuel inside of lighters can expand when exposed to heat, creating a fire hazard. And if you’re a Maryland resident, you know how unpredictable our weather can be – so don’t take the chance of leaving a lighter in your car regardless of the season!
3: Food & Drink.
For the safety of your car’s interior and upholstery – avoid leaving any food or drink in your vehicle. Bottles of wine have been known to explode – leaving an unbelievable mess, and candies can melt and become a permanent piece of gunk on your seat. But when it comes to your safety, leaving food in a car at even room temperature can cause harmful bacteria. We recommend not leaving groceries or leftovers in your car for more than two hours, and an hour at maximum on days it is over 90 degrees.
4: Aerosol Cans.
On the outside of any spray can you’ll find a storage temperature recommendation. Let this recommendation label be a warning sign that these are items you should never leave in your car! These pressurized cans are extremely sensitive to temperature, and can potentially crack and explode in your car. We’ll just let the words “explode in your car” resonate with you so you’ll remember not to leave aerosol cans in your vehicle.
5: Plastic Bottles.
The warning against leaving plastic bottles in your car has been around for years… and rightfully so! Bisphenol A (BPA) is a potentially harmful chemical compound found in clear plastics. When exposed to high temperatures or direct sunlight, the BPA in a plastic water bottle is released into the contents of the container. Drinking water from a bottle that has been exposed to heat is considered to be harmful. Plastic water bottles are one of the items you should never leave in your car, but one that we accidentally do so often.
Just like with aerosol cans, most medications will have a temperature storage warning on the label. They can be small – so see the example of an Aspirin warning label below. Typically, medicine should be left at room temperature. Leaving medication in your car won’t make it harmful to take – but will make it less or ineffective… which is potentially worse.
7: Your Passport.
Or any important identification material for that matter. Identity theft is a huge issue in our country – don’t make it easy for intruders by leaving your passport in your car. Treat your identity just as you would expensive jewelry – never leave it in your car!
To add on to #7 – your personal laptop or cellphone probably contain personal information as well. Electronics are items you should never leave in your car under any circumstances! If stolen, not only will you have lost a pricey possession – you potentially could lose your identity as well! IF you do find that you leave your cellphone or laptop in your car, we highly recommend leaving a well-coded password on them to help protect your identity.
Our Final Thoughts
The above list is simply the material items you should never leave in your car… we wanted to end this post with the reminder that it is NEVER okay to leave children or animals alone in your car. You can get away with leaving your groceries in your trunk while you fill up your gas tank and drop off your dry cleaning… but always make sure if you have any passengers with you they are out of your vehicle before you lock up.