How to Safely Secure Your Luggage on Your Luggage Rack
If you are traveling with a lot of cargo on top of your car, you need to completely secure them in place. Improperly strapped objects on top of running vehicles can cause accidents to those who are behind. The Government Accountability Office conducted a study in 2012 which revealed that there are 51,000 crashes that happens every year because of being struck by flying objects coming from running vehicles.
These accidents resulted in 440 deaths and 10,000 injuries. Even a small 20-pound item flying at 55 miles per hour could pack one half ton of power that could wreck the car running behind. If you want to avoid causing harm to the car behind you, follow these safety tips on how to pack luggage in your luggage rack.
Assess Your Luggage vis-à-vis Your Luggage Rack
Measure the sizes and weights of the luggage that you will put on your luggage rack. Don’t try to fit in items that are bigger than the length or width of the roof rack. Weigh all of the items and be sure that their total weight will not exceed the carrying capacity of your vehicle. Remember that the carrying capacity of a vehicle is usually smaller than its towing capacity. If your luggage rack does not have a cross bar, be sure that no item hangs over your windshield.
Be Sure You Are Not Overloading Your Car
Do not overload your car. The reason you are weighing your luggage is to determine if all the items you are loading is within the safety cargo limits of your vehicle. If possible, load only up to 90 percent of your car’s carrying capacity. It will not only be unsafe but it will also have a detrimental effect on your car’s axle if you put in more weight that it can handle. Look at the car’s manual to check its cargo limits.
Secure Your Luggage
If you have a number of small items that you need to put in the luggage rack, put them together in a weather proof box. It might rain or snow while you are traveling so this will protect the items from foul weather. If you don’t have a weather proof box, cover the box tightly with heavy plastic wrapper considering that you may be running on an average of 60 miles per hour.
Load Your Luggage Properly
You need to properly arrange your luggage on the roof rack to be sure that they won’t fall and cause accidents. Start loading the items or boxes at the center of the rack going out. See to it that there are no open spaces in between the boxes or items.
Arrange Your Luggage In Their Right Order
Load items that are lighter at the bottom and heavier items at the top. This will prevent the lighter items from moving around while the vehicle is running. If you need to access some items quickly, pack them on top of the luggage. See to it that there is no flapping on your luggage when the car is running.
Tie Down And Secure Your Luggage
You must see to it that your luggage is rigid and tied in three different directions. It should be secured sideways to prevent it from moving when negotiating a fast curve. The luggage must also be secured from sliding ahead when you suddenly step on the brakes. It must also be secured from sliding backwards when you suddenly step on the gas.
Tie one end of the rack rope on one bar of the luggage rack. Throw the other end of the rack rope over your luggage and tie it to another bar of your roof rack. Repeat this process a number of times seeing to it that the entire luggage is secure and that nothing will move when the car is running. If you really want to protect the car from the elements, cover the entire luggage with a heavy tarpaulin before tying them all up.
Go For A Test Drive
After you have done all of the above, you need to go for a test drive to see if everything will hold even when the car is running on highway speeds. Drive the car around your block several times. Step on the gas, turn on corners and step on the brakes a couple of times and see if your cargo is still in place.