Bikes, luggage, shopping, pets, camping gear..... the list goes on!
It's not only you and your passengers that are transported in your car, it's so often a lot of other 'stuff' too. We offer a little advice on how to store your possessions properly so that they are safe and secure whilst moving.
When stowing items in the boot, the thing to keep in mind is that the forces on the rear seat backrest in the event of a collision should be kept as low as possible. So the heaviest items should rest on the floor of the boot and just behind the backrests (so the items won’t pick up speed and become a battering ram). Lighter things can be higher up and closer to the fifth door. Soft items on top.
Luggage straps, nets and storage can all help anchor down items. Every make and model of car has suitable accessories designed to be used in that particular vehicle. Ask our Parts Departments for details. Be sure to secure things properly in place.
Skis, bicycles, kayaks, etc can be transported on roof racks, in roof boxes or on rear cycle racks. Make sure everything is safely secured and use the appropriate accessory, properly fitted, for your vehicle. Look for roof boxes that have passed crash safety tests. Check for the accessory's maximum load, remembering to include the weight of the roof bars that secure them. Store weightier items in the middle of the box and line it with soft items such as a towel or blanket to stop sharp items puncturing the lining.
If you carry your bike on a roof rack or rear carrier, remember to remove anything that could come loose, for example the pump, water bottles, lights or panniers.
Easily to hand should be hi-vis jackets, a first aid kit, a warning triangle and a fire extinguisher.
Snacks and drinks should be in storage compartments or in handbags or backpacks, which should in turn be on the floor or beneath a seat. Don't put hard, sharp or heavy things like bottles, cameras or umbrellas on the rear shelf as they could shoot forward in the event of a collision. Remember that even if you brake at 30 mph, anything unsecured continues to travel forward at that speed.
Luggage that doesn’t fit in the boot can also be strapped down with a seat belt on one of the rear seats. Again, the ultimate purpose is to prevent objects from moving freely in the interior during hard braking or a collision.
For advice on 'live' luggage - dogs and other pets - see our blog entitled 'Car Travel With Your Pets'
For help with any genuine authorised accessories for your vehicle, please consult our Parts Department experts in branch.
Happy & safe motoring!
Thanks to our safety experts at ŠKODA for some of these hacks!