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Winter Road Trip? How to Pack Your Car Safely

winter holiday road tripWhether it’s off to grandma’s house for the holidays, hitting the slopes for the annual family ski trip or something else, every road trip needs a plan. If you’ll be driving to your destination, then knowing how to pack your car safely is an important consideration; and a safe trip begins with the preparation done before you actually hit the road.

Packing your car safely means prioritizing your luggage placement and securing it in place to assure good vehicle balance and a clear lines of sight from the driver's seat. If you can achieve this, then you’ve successfully packed your car for the long drive.


Here are the primary things to keep in mind as you load your luggage, packages and other essentials:

  • Distribute the weight evenly. Suitcases are usually the heaviest of items you’ll pack and so should be placed toward the center of the vehicle. You’ll need even weight for stability, and it will help to prevent tipping should an accident occur.  
  • Once the heaviest items are loaded, then lighter items can be packed around them in a way that does not allow for shifting from side-to-side with the movement of the car. Moreover, if the area you’re packing is in the rear of the passenger area, be sure that packages are secured so that a sudden stop does not propel them forward, injuring the passengers.
  • If your vehicle’s cargo area shares the passenger area as would an SUV, for example, then you should avoid packing your cargo so high that it obstructs the driver’s view through the rear window. Also, items packed too high could shift forward and injure those in the back seat if you should stop suddenly.
  • Rooftop cargo should be extremely secure. In fact, if time allows, it’s best to test your fastened cargo before your trip begins to be sure it does not shift in any direction while the car is in motion. Remember that forward movement while driving could cause a wind force in excess of 75 mph and the load on your rooftop must withstand that.
  • The height of rooftop cargo increases the overall height of your vehicle – this being the height that you should keep in mind when clearing low overhands on your route. Likewise, utilizing a detachable cargo platform on the back of your car increases the length of your vehicle. It will be important to remember that you’ll need more space when backing up than you are accustomed to when you drive the car under normal circumstances. Take care not to exceed the load rating of your cargo platforms.
  • Always bear in mind that cargo can significantly increase the weight of your car, and the heavier the vehicle the longer it takes to stop. Adjust your speed and take care not to follow too closely behind the vehicle ahead.

Auto Insurance Tip

Before you take to the road, be sure that you have also packed your auto insurance policy information including how to contact your insurance agent in the event of an accident. There are some very helpful apps to download to your phone that will help you negotiate traffic and maintain your bearings as you travel. However, if at all possible, appoint a passenger as your navigator so that you as the driver do not need to distract your attention away from the road and your driving.

Linduist Insurance is a full-service insurance agency offering auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, business/commercial insurance and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA), Washington DC, West Virginia (WV) and Pennsylvania (PA) since 1992. Our experienced insurance agents  at both our Frederick and Annapolis offices welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it.  This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage.  You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.


Monday, 14 November 2016 14:15

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