Cargo safety

Summer is here and many people pack up their cars and hit the open road. Some head to their favourite camping spot, cottage rental or to family and friends with additional items like bicycles, canoes, coolers, gas tanks and more.

Here are some tips to ensure proper load securement.

  • The Ontario Highway Traffic Act is very clear that the driver is 100% responsible for the load securement for any vehicle. The driver could be charged if anything comes loose and causes a traffic incident.
  • Many vehicles will have extra items on the top of the vehicle or behind the vehicle. All items need to be fully secured, so nothing comes loose and interferes with the flow of traffic.
  • The best way to ensure your load is secured is to enclose items into the vehicle’s trunk or a cargo carrying case on top of the vehicle. Proper installation of the cargo carrying cases should be done by a professional.
  • Proper strapping of any items should be geared to the weight of the item that you are carrying.
  • It is important to understand that the cargo carrying case will add weight to the vehicle and change the aerodynamics of the vehicle. The vehicle’s centre of gravity will change, and it will affect how you take corners and stop. Also, the added weight will increase your gas consumption.
  • Depending on the value of the cargo you are carrying, drivers must determine which items are best placed in the truck versus what is placed in the cargo carrying case. Valuables would be better placed in the trunk as it offers additional security.
  • Any flammable material sources should be transported on the exterior of the vehicle.

Some pick-up trucks have tonneau covers or a mesh net to secure the load in the back of the truck. It is also important to tie down the items to ensure that the items are not shifting in transit.