Safety Information For Gear Storage and Security Decking

jesse3638

Active Member
I'm not sure if this has been discussed or not but I wanted to share what I just experienced at work.

We just returned from a call. A traffic collision, passenger vehicle vs semi. Due to a total white out (dust storm) an FJ cruiser came to a complete stop in the roadway. A fully loaded semi could not see him and as a result rear ended him at approximately 45mph. The impact was so severe that it completely crushed the rear of the vehicle. The rear mounted spare tire was pushed completely even with the rear wheels and the vehicle came to rest approximately 200-250' from the initial impact sight. Had there been passengers in the back seat they probably would not have survived as the seat was pushed up against the driver and passenger seats. The driver seat was laid back and headrest dislodged from the seat.

Two occupants were in the front seats. The passenger was obviously upset and shaken but otherwise not injured. The driver however could only tell us his name. He looked back and didn't even know what happened. We treated him as an altered patient, but could not figure out what caused this mental state. Curious I returned to the vehicle and opened the drivers door. It immediately became apparent the potential mechanism of his injury. A homemade cargo deck.

A 2x6 board made its way between the rear seats. The end, cut at an angle, was now sticking through the rear seats, stopping next to the right side of the driver's seat at head height. The driver's seat had wood splinters and pieces all over it. It appears this most likely impacted the back of the drivers head causing his altered mental state. This also changed the course of action and receiving facility. Both occupants will most likely fully recover but it really opened my eyes.

I had learned a long time ago to ensure your gear, especially large heavy items, is secured to prevent it from becoming a projectile in an accident. It never would have occurred to me that something as innocent as a security deck could potentially kill you in an accident. I've seen a lot of posts of decks people have made and installed in the back of their jeeps. If building a deck maybe consider any lumber running fore and aft may act like a harpoon in a rear end collision. Building some type of bulk head may be a good idea. I was going to try and snap a pic of what I saw but we cleared the scene before I could. Just wanted to share this.


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Snboarder113

Active Member
Did you see any evidence of the deck being secured/ mounted or do you think it was loose originally?
Tough things to account for in an accident like that as besides having things secured down there isn’t much else you can prepare for, especially vs. a semi. Bumpers and crumple zones are built for cars not a 6’ tall 80,000lb wall hitting you.
 

OverlanderJK

Resident Smartass
Growing up a woman my mom worked with lost her daughter after the car she was in rolled over. The rear speaker came dislodged from the house and hit her in the head and killed her. It was snowy so the car wasn’t damaged too bad. Her boyfriend who was in the passenger seat was totally fine without even a scratch. The girl who died also didn’t have a scratch on her. Just died from being hit in the head.


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jesse3638

Active Member
Did you see any evidence of the deck being secured/ mounted or do you think it was loose originally?
Tough things to account for in an accident like that as besides having things secured down there isn’t much else you can prepare for, especially vs. a semi. Bumpers and crumple zones are built for cars not a 6’ tall 80,000lb wall hitting you.
Yeah I totally agree. It was hard to tell due to all the things back there but I'm unsure. There was 3/4" plywood secured to the top but the screws ripped right out. I feel any severe impact like this could have caused a similar result. 3/4 or 1 ton pickup trailering, utility truck, etc.
Growing up a woman my mom worked with lost her daughter after the car she was in rolled over. The rear speaker came dislodged from the house and hit her in the head and killed her. It was snowy so the car wasn’t damaged too bad. Her boyfriend who was in the passenger seat was totally fine without even a scratch. The girl who died also didn’t have a scratch on her. Just died from being hit in the head.


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Who'd have thought a speaker would become a projectile. That's crazy.

At my old job it was not uncommon for employees who worked in the field to carry their hitch in the back seat so it wouldn't get stolen from the bed. This was in addition to a load of other tools and crap. There was a big safety meeting addressing this and soon everyone had bed boxes installed to prevent this. A lot of vehicles had headache racks installed too to keep bed cargo from coming through the rear window.

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J&k_Overland

Caught the Bug
My stepson got smacked in the head by his spare tire in one of his wrecks (so glad he isn’t in our insurance) he had it secured with bungee cords instead of a ratchet strap. Told em so many times to fix. He’s alright (I guess) he sure did learn the hard way though.
 

jesse3638

Active Member
My stepson got smacked in the head by his spare tire in one of his wrecks (so glad he isn’t in our insurance) he had it secured with bungee cords instead of a ratchet strap. Told em so many times to fix. He’s alright (I guess) he sure did learn the hard way though.
Sometimes as long as the outcome is "ok" an "I told you so" is appropriate. Glad he is ok.

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Brute

Hooked
This is a good post...food for thought. If that happened to me in either Brute or the JK6, I would most likely die in a fireball as my fuel tanks ruptured and ignited...
 

RESURECTIONJK

Caught the Bug
Working law enforcement years back I used to see this all the time. Amazing how even small items can really do a lot of damage. Pretty much anything not secured becomes a cannon ball.
 

jesse3638

Active Member
He gets a a lot of that and he listens a bit better too. Think we all were a lil stupid in our 20s
Well I think we all knew everything between the age of 12 and 27...haha. Plus during that time were invincible too.
This is a good post...food for thought. If that happened to me in either Brute or the JK6, I would most likely die in a fireball as my fuel tanks ruptured and ignited...
Don't they make certain materials that will hold most of the fuel in? Similar to a fuel cell run im race cars?
Working law enforcement years back I used to see this all the time. Amazing how even small items can really do a lot of damage. Pretty much anything not secured becomes a cannon ball.
Newton's laws of motion will always win. So will mother nature....haha.

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RockinAZJK

Caught the Bug
This is a good post...food for thought. If that happened to me in either Brute or the JK6, I would most likely die in a fireball as my fuel tanks ruptured and ignited...

At least it’ll look cool like a movie explosion. While in one of those rigs, what a way to go


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DMF

Member
Note to self, do not stop in the middle of the road.


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Snboarder113

Active Member
Note to self, do not stop in the middle of the road.


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Always make it to the side of the road before you "stop" and turn on all the lights and hazards. Decide if you're safer in the vehicle strapped in or get out and run very far away from the road. Been years since we've had a white out storm up here, last time was a world record highway pileup and a truck transporting fireworks that lit up.
 
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