The best way to pack your car for any road trip

For most people, summer means vacation and travel. As temperatures rise, 80 percent of Americans plan to change their daily scenery, and most of them will do so by road trip. And this is understandable because driving is more flexible and cheaper than flying.

There’s a lot more space in the trunk of your car than a carry-on, but it’s definitely limited and you have to make the most of it. Packing for the road is not just about the satisfaction of winning a complex game of luggage Tetris — safety is also important.

The importance of proper packing

If you think that as long as you can put pressure on the kitchen sink and co – every last thing – you better go, think again. Poor packing can turn a summer vacation into a frustrating experience, such as when you can’t find sunscreen or luggage has been moved and your banana bread has broken into delicious bread. But a wrong water bottle or an unsafe grill can have a more devastating and dramatic effect.

At best, moving and scattering items is a confusion. If you constantly check the rearview mirror to make sure that the board game on top of your luggage does not slide all over the place, your eyes are not on the road, which creates a danger for passengers and other drivers.

[Related: Organize and accessorize your board games with 3D printing]

“Properly packed cars alleviate these hazards and help keep all passengers safe and organized,” said Thomas McIntyre Schultz, who is in charge of technology and product communications at Volvo Car USA.

But worst of all, loose items can be fatal. According to Volvo’s loading recommendation, an object weighing 44 pounds can reach a projectile weight equal to 2,200 pounds in a head-on collision at a speed of only 30 miles per hour. At that speed, if the item hits the driver or one of the passengers, it can cause serious injury or even death. So packing is more than comfort and convenience – it can literally save your life.

Packing tips

“A car packed with a mix of art and science that helps protect everyone on the road,” said McIntyre Schultz.

And like any masterpiece or scientific experiment, he advises you to start things off with a plan. Before you toss things in the trunk, make sure that whatever you want to bring with you is present and calculated. That way, you’ll avoid the frustration of packing the whole trunk, only to realize that you’ve forgotten a duffel bag and need to start over.

First, separate or disassemble large items, such as strollers, for example, pack them as small as possible. Then, pack in your own box, especially with heavy or sharp edges, to make sure you’re making the most of your car. Fill any nooks and crannies with soft, supple items like blankets, pillows or jackets. This will make packing easier and protect your luggage from being scratched or dented.

Once everything is ready in the driveway or garage, imagine how it might fit together before you start loading. Keep heavy bags at the bottom of the stack so they don’t slip around or crush more delicate items. Consider installing a bike rack or roof rack outside your car, especially for large or awkward sized items such as bikes, scooters or sports equipment. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully to make sure the racks are secure.

When all is well, take a photo so you can mention it and copy the results when you get home.

For convenience, keep simple items like first aid kits, snacks and recreation devices in the passenger area. Keep them in baskets or boxes and try to secure them in seats or tie them tightly to the floor in rows so that they do not slip or fall off.

Be aware of your car

What you need to do to secure your ride before hitting the road will depend on what you are driving. McIntyre Schultz explains that sedans যে that cars with separate trunks-do not require as many safety measures as other vehicles.

“A trunk provides passengers a natural separation from luggage, heavy, or loose gear and can reduce the confusion caused by mid-drive shifting items,” he says.

If you are driving an SUV or hatchback, things are different. Waste your trip to avoid flying suitcases, keep heavy luggage under the trunk and away from people. This will make it easier to pack passengers than to fall on them, crush other objects or, in the event of an accident, turn into a deadly projectile. For added safety, use rope or bungee cords to strap heavy objects into your car’s built-in tie-down anchors. If you have a pile of luggage in your backseat, secure it with a safety fence. This common obstacle can prevent cargo from flying to the front seats.

[Related: How airbags work, and how they can fail]

If you pile up high, don’t let luggage get stuck in the window রেখে avoid any breakage or damage to the glass by leaving a 4-inch space between it and your gear. Also, be sure to leave enough space so you can see through your windows and your rearview mirror.

Lastly, make any changes your car needs to handle the heavy load, especially if you have attached a hatch-mounted rack or trailer. Examine your car’s glasses carefully and see if your tire pressure needs to be adjusted to accommodate the extra weight. You will find all that information in your car manual.

Strapping all your luggage and gear in the right place (and yourself) will make your road trip safer, so you are more likely to arrive at your destination to enjoy a healthy, happy and summer vacation.

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