If you do not distribute the load correctly you run the risk of losing control and that in the event of an accident the luggage hits the occupants with worse consequences.
One of the most common problems before making a trip by car appears at the time of loading the luggage. We take more than we need, put it in without thinking and, if there is not enough space, we do not hesitate to use the roof rack or, even worse, the rear seats, which is very dangerous in the event of braking. In this way, it is important to think in advance how we are going to distribute the load in our vehicle to ensure our safety, but also to get a more pleasant journey and holiday.
In a study of people’s criteria for placing luggage in cars, Race and Goodyear found that, as a rule, drivers underestimate the risk posed by an incorrectly loaded vehicle: 35% of users had no criteria for placing it.
When a vehicle is loaded, driving becomes more difficult, especially because it increases the sway at any maneuver, and that produces a greater sense of instability. In addition, the braking system, suspension or stability control (ESP) can be affected and the braking distance increased as a result.
For a safer ride, we give a series of tips for correctly loading luggage and handbags in the luggage compartment and enjoying the ride.
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- First of all, it is advisable to review the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications in relation to the gross weight and maximum loads that the car can support, especially on the roof, axles, trailer capacity, etc..
- First, we will try to load all luggage only in the trunk. The load must be distributed evenly: the heaviest packages first in the most forward area, and the largest and stiffest suitcases at the bottom, the rest of the load on top.
- To minimise the movement of cargo, we will tie the luggage with fasteners or nets to the mooring points in the luggage compartment.
It is advisable to cover all objects that may be sharp with a blanket to prevent them from exploding and coming out shot.
- A heavy-duty separation net may be fitted between the boot and rear seats so that luggage cannot reach occupants if projected.
- If there is insufficient space in the luggage compartment, use boxes, preferably with a lock and aerodynamic shape; it is important to bear in mind that these objects increase the instability of the vehicle, reduce the engine power and extend the braking distance. Valuing the option of putting a roof rack on the car may be a good idea.
- Never carry loose objects in the passenger compartment or rear tray. They make the driver’s vision difficult and become high risk factors in the event of a collision or braking: flying objects increase their weight up to 50 times during an accident at 50 km/h.
- Before starting the journey, check and secure the load and fasten the rear seat belts, even if there are no passengers, to prevent luggage from passing from the luggage compartment into the passenger compartment.