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Lighten Up: Overloading Your Car Can Lead to a Crash

For many families, the car becomes especially important in summer months. You may be loading up the car in order to take your teenagers to their dorm room or may be packing up the car for a long road trip or a camp trip. If you’re headed to the lake, your car may double as a boat tow or may contain all of your equipment for enjoying a day on the water.

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In these situations, it’s easy to overload your car. Unfortunately, this can be a deadly mistake. Overloading your car can:

  • Add additional weight to the vehicle, changing how the car handles
  • Lead to unevenly distributed weight, causing a higher risk of Hollywood rollovers and other types of collisions
  • Create more blind spots or can block your visibility, leading to car crashes
  • Cause severe injury, since anything you stow inside the vehicle can become a projectile during a car crash

You don’t want to change your summer plans, so there are several things that you will want to do to make sure that you avoid overloading your car:

Take only what you need.

Before packing everything, carefully consider what you will need. Try to take only those items that you definitely will need or are very likely to need. Look for travel sized items or smaller alternatives to your usual items. Find items that do more than one thing — for example, pack an all-over body wash that functions as soap and shampoo rather than packing separate items.

Pack with a list.

Don’t take multiples of items. Create a list of everything you will need for your trip or outing and cross off anything you don’t absolutely need. As you pack everything, cross the items off the list so that you don’t end up doubling up on items.

Keep as much as you can in the trunk of the car.

In the event of a collision in Hollywood or your community, anything in the car can become airborne. If it crashes into you or your child, it can cause severe head injuries or even fatalities. Where possible, keep most of your packed items in the trunk or on the floor of the vehicle.

Distribute weight evenly .

Avoid placing everything heavy in just one section of the car. Your car will handle better and will be easier to drive if the weight is distributed evenly.

Consider shipping some items or using multiple cars.

Use a shipping service, courier service, or have a family member drive another vehicle with you if you need to take a lot of items. This is usually much safer than trying to ram everything into one vehicle.

Make sure you can see out the windows.

Do not pile things so high that they obscure the rear window or side windows. Redistribute and repack if you cannot see easily. You don’t want to create additional blind spots.

Have you been injured by someone driving recklessly or negligently with an overburdened car? You may have legal rights under Florida law to seek compensation. To find out more, contact the law firm of Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free case review.