How to properly pack a car

Going away? Carting a heavy load? Here’s how

well packed car

You may not think it, but carrying a heavy load in your vehicle will most likely make a significant difference to how your vehicle brakes, steers and turns.

So, before you start playing a life-size version of Tetris with your car, make sure that the load that you’re going to be carrying is loaded in such a way as to minimize changes to your cars dynamics.

Related: Road trip essentials for your car

But how do you do this? What is the best way to secure and store a load in your car?

The road safety advocates, IAM Roadsmart, have provided us with these tips:

Keep the weight down low

The heavier the lower, the lighter the higher. Pack the bigger and heavier things on the bottom as a base then put the smaller items around or on top of them.

Headlight Alignment

A badly loaded vehicle may affect headlight alignment – adjust them to prevent dazzle.

If you regularly have to pack too much in the back of the car why not invest in a good quality roof box designed for your make of car? The same ‘heavier lower/lighter higher’ rules apply but ensure you don’t overload the roof box beyond the recommended weight.

And don’t forget to amend your driving to take account of the higher centre of gravity.

Does it Really Fit?

Make sure bigger objects fit inside your car. The law states that “you must secure your load and it must not stick out dangerously.”

If you know you are purchasing a large item why not have it delivered as opposed to endangering your life and others.

Trying to drive with a boot or hatchback open also risks sucking fumes back into the vehicle which can affect your ability to concentrate.

Don’t take a chance of being prosecuted for insecure load or unsuitable vehicle

Watch your Vision

Keep the driving area within the vehicle clear. Drivers have been known to crash because of a loose can under the brake pedal – don’t risk it!

As much as it is tempting to overload and make one trip to your destination, stacking objects all over the place can be very dangerous.

Make sure you keep areas such as the parcel shelf and foot-wells clear.

Loose items flying around the car operate as distractions and can also injure those in the car.

Drive with Extra Care

Once you are on the move observation and anticipation are even more important if your car is driving differently from normal.

Related: Great car options for dog lovers in 2017/18

Got any other motoring tips you’d like to share? Send us an email - [email protected], or use the comments section below.

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