How to Pack a Car Safely

How to Pack a Car Safely

Since summer is here and so are thoughts of hitting the road for a family vacation. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nine out of 10 Americans drive to their travel destination.

If you’re among those planning to hit the road, remember that safe driving starts before you even leave the driveway. Securing luggage, maintaining vehicle balance and keeping clear lines of sight from the driver’s seat are key elements in packing your car safely for the long drive.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you load up your luggage, coolers and other vacation necessities:

  • Load heavier items such as suitcases first, and toward the center. Lighter items, such as coolers, beach bags and groceries, can be packed on top of and to the sides of the heavier items.
  • Make sure the weight is distributed evenly. Uneven weight can cause instability and increase the chance of the car tipping in the event of an accident.
  • Don’t pack things too high—items packed too high may obstruct the driver’s view through the rear-view mirror. Also, items packed too high could shift forward and injure those in the back seat if you should stop suddenly.
  • If you’re doing any rooftop or auxiliary cargo loading, make sure all cargo is fully secured. The wind created while driving could exceed 75 mph, which is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.
    • Be aware of the height of your cargo so you do not inadvertently drive into a low overhang.
    • If you use a detachable cargo platform on the back of your car, do not forget that it’s there when you back up.
    • Check the manufacturer’s instruction sheet to confirm that you don’t exceed the load rating of the roof-top or cargo platform.
  • If you tow a trailer, make sure it’s in good condition (lights, tires, wheels, etc.), and check the trailer periodically during your trip.
  • Pack only what you need since heavy cars can take longer to stop.

Your friends at Apollo Insurances wish you safe summer travels!

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