'Dangerous danglers' pose car crash risk

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That foul smelling, dog eared piece of cardboard you've got hanging from your rearview mirror could be putting you at risk, according to the AA.

Research has shown that one in 20 motorists is driving with a potentially lethal blind spot caused by hanging up a large air freshener, teddy bear or other "dangerous dangler".

CDs cause the most danger because their reflective surface can dazzle a driver in direct sunlight.

The AA says there's an "urban myth that dangling a CD will somehow avert speed camera detection". Oddly enough, it doesn't work.

Also in the firing line are portable sat nav units, which are hugely popular now but which many are placing directly in their line of vision on the windscreen.

The AA's report, which is based on a survey of over 2,000 vehicles, lists quite an impressive diversity of ornamental tat that it found drivers are willing to risk crashing for. They include a Margaret Thatcher doll, a mini horse and a leprechaun.

And the award for most ironic piece of distraction goes to the driver whose backward vision was impaired by the road safety sticker on his rear screen.

AA president Edmund King said: "Many drivers seem intent on customising their cars with windscreen clutter which often obscures their view. At a junction a large teddy bear could easily form a blind spot to obscure sighting of a passing pedestrian or cyclist.

"We urge all drivers to remove any dangerous danglers so that they can concentrate on the road ahead".