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How to pack a car safely

How to pack a car safely

When travelling, make sure your luggage and belongings are safely packed in your car. Load heavy stuff first in the middle and lighter stuff on the sides and on top. Avoid packing things too high.


Loads on the roof must be attached securely. At speed the airflow will be trying to lift the front of any long load, so a secure fixing holding the front of the load down, is important. The entire load will need to be securely tied down to prevent it sliding down when braking. Because cargo increases the weight of your car, it's generally better to carry bulky but light things on the roof and heavy items inside the car.


Organizing items inside the car

"Last in, first out". Organize items in the order they will or may need to be accessed. Consider how you will get to the spare tyre or an emergency kit should there be a roadside emergency.  Have easy access to essential items, such as food, drinks or entertainment for your kids. Packing heavy luggage low and tight can decrease their penetrating power in a road crash, so packing suitcases and duffle bags higher than the back seat can be dangerous. Not only does it decrease visibility, but it also puts passengers at risk of a serious injury in a collision. Consider using spaces beneath passenger seats for luggage. The better you can distribute your luggage weight, the better fuel consumption and better vehicle handling you will have on the road. Keep in mind that under emergency braking at 50 km/h, loose items can have a force of up to 50 times their weight, so store books, cellphones, laptops etc. beneath passenger seats, so  they won't become projectiles.


Driving style

Avoid an obscured rear window, because it makes driving difficult and creates considerable risk when reversing. Increase the following distance from the vehicle ahead; a fully loaded vehicle will require a greater distance for the driver to bring it to a full stop. When traveling with heavy cargo, consider adjusting your headlights slightly downward. A fully loaded trunk may cause the back of the vehicle to sag and tilt your headlights too high, blinding oncoming road users.

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how to pack a car