Picture a motorway. You’re driving within the speed limit and keeping a 2-second gap between your car and the vehicle in front.
As far as you’re aware, the driver in front of you is doing everything right to stay safe on the roads. But, the vehicle has a roof rack and the items on it seem to be wobbling and might go rolling off to the road any second. Scary isn’t it?
So, if you’re carrying additional luggage on your roof, how can you make sure you arrive at your destination with everything still attached to the top of your roof?
It’s crucial to always properly secure your load on your roof rack before hitting the road. The Highway Code simply says: “you must secure your load and it must not stick out dangerously”.
And here are some tips on how to properly secure your load:
- Make sure you have the right roof rack for your car and that it’s securely attached. Loose items can fly around in a car accident and become projectiles.
- Weigh everything you want to pack before you start loading up. This is to ensure the items you tie down are not too heavy. If you’re not sure what weight your car can carry, check your car’s manual or with your vehicle’s manufacturer.
- Don’t overload your car – make sure the weight of the load is evenly distributed.
- Pack heavy items closer to the car and lighter items on top. This will help to keep the load stable.
- Tie-down straps are the best way to secure your load on your roof racks. Unlike elastic straps or rope, tie-down straps won’t allow your load to shift.
- If you’re travelling a long distance, strop regularly to check all your fixings are still in place.
- Make loading your roof rack as easy as you can. And be careful not to scratch your car’s paintwork.
- Ensure your roof racks are wide apart to evenly support the load. Then make sure you properly fasten the straps starting with attaching the anchor points and going over the load before tensioning the straps to pull the load hard against the bards.
- Take the time to properly secure everything down, making sure that nothing is able to move around too much. If everything is packed tight and you’ve used the proper fixings, your load will be more aerodynamic and use less fuel.
- Use a Tarp or Cover – If you are transporting large items or an uneven load, using a tarp or cover will help to keep everything in place.
- Check that all knots are tight and double-check everything before setting out on your journey.
- If possible, avoid travelling during bad weather conditions as strong winds can make it more difficult to keep your load in place.
Securing your load on your car roof is crucial for safety while driving. The tips we’ve provided will help you make sure you’re not putting yourself or other road users at risk.