It can be irritating to drive your car when it's filled with trash, luggage, furniture, and other items. Shifting loads can throw off the balance of your vehicle—and they are all but guaranteed to cause an accident if they fall onto the roadway.
Car Loading Safety Tips That Can Help You Avoid a Crash
Debris-related crashes on roadways often occur due to poorly-loaded or broken-down vehicles. So before packing everything in, schedule a maintenance check. This ensures that parts such as a rusted muffler or worn tire aren't likely to fall into the road due to excess cargo weight.
One your car is cleared for loading, take care to:
- Secure the cabin. Always keep the front foot wells clear of any cargo, especially loose items that could roll under the pedals. Make sure whatever you load in the back seat or trunk hasn't impeded your ability to drive comfortably.
- Check visibility. If you can't see clearly out of the back window and through all three mirrors, your vehicle isn't safe to drive. The height limit for stacking cargo is the top line of the seat backs. Also, keep parcel shelves—the removable units usually in the back of an SUV or truck—clear.
- Be practical. If you're only carrying one or two items, carefully consider if they should be stowed in the back seat or the trunk. Try using boxes or plastic crates in the trunk to prevent small items from rolling around.
- Keep buckles clear. No matter how much you have loaded into your car, be certain all passengers can buckle up safely.
- Start low. Heavier items should be placed on the floor, in the back of the trunk, and as low to the ground as possible. Distributing heavy items evenly also allows for better handling on the road and less chance of a rollover accident.
- Roof racks. If you put anything on a roof rack, it should be fastened to the car securely with rope, netting, or straps. Make sure that the roof load doesn't stick out so far that it prevents other motorists from driving safely near you. In addition, take note of the extra height—you might need to reroute in order to avoid low bridges and parking structures.
If you were injured due to road debris, call our Florida injury attorneys today or fill out the form on this page to set up your free consultation.