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Should I Clean My Car Out Following a Crash?

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WMC-TV recently had a report indicating that vehicle owners should clean out their rides after they are involved in an accident.

The station reported that people might experienced issues with thieves obtaining personal information, through old mail, checkbooks or receipts being left in vehicles, when repair or collision work is being performed. These items can be used for identity theft purposes.

One woman, who crashed her car during a business trip in Chicago, said her insurance company totaled her vehicle out and she thought she removed all of her belongings from the vehicle, which was sold at auction.

However, after the sale, she remembered that she left forgotten documents in the vehicle, like a medical bill with a Social Security number and an old checkbook. Luckily, the woman was able to contact the Chicago junkyard that owned the vehicle after auction and she was able to arrange having the documents returned to her.

“I’m thankful that there are still honest people out there that are doing that, but it exposed something that I never would have thought of,” she said, according to WMC.

Although things worked out well for this woman, it is better to be safe than sorry following an accident. WMC reported that Tennessee requires towing providers to hold a wrecked vehicle for 30 days before selling it, or until the owner, the owner’s legal representative or insurance company releases the vehicle for resale. During this time, it is wise for people to clean out the vehicle, as they may not have the option later.

In addition to removing documents and belongings, the station reported that people should remove tags and plates from vehicles, as they can be used to accrue parking tickets and toll charges if someone buys the vehicle illegally or steals items from a salvage lot.


This is excellent advice for anyone recently involved in a car accident. We also have a page dedicated to what you should after a crash, which includes a form you can print off and store in your vehicle’s glove box.

Unfortunately, most people are left flustered in the days or weeks following an accident and they may make decisions that can lead to negative consequences. Advice like this can be incredibly beneficial.

Continue to follow our blog for more vehicle safety tips. Have a wonderful weekend!

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

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