Cargo boxes seem like the simple solution to all of your storage needs, and having this one easy device on the roof of your car truly can save you a lot of time, money, and effort. As helpful as they are though, not many people understand the importance of cargo box safety when traveling with these extra loads and they end up putting themselves, their gear, and others on the road in danger.
There are many things to consider when traveling with a cargo box including the speed of your car, how to secure the load, and what it means when you’re on the road. Before you head out anywhere with a cargo box attached to your roof rack, you need to be mindful of all of the safety considerations so that you can complete your journey with both passengers and gear safe and sound.
Roof cargo box safety isn’t just about the load that’s on top, but also about how you operate the vehicle. Traveling long distances, which people usually do when taking a cargo box along, means you have to be extra vigilant of others on the road, but also of yourself.
The speed of your car and how the cargo box affects acceleration is something most people aren’t prepared for. The best approach is to follow the speed limits exactly when you’re driving but if you feel like the load is being compromised or no longer feels stable, don’t be afraid to slow down. It’s far better to exercise caution than cause an accident that could be serious for you and others on the road.
Weather is something that we should always be mindful of when traveling on the road but having a cargo box attached gives it a whole new level of importance. Before you head off for the day, wherever your destination may be, you’ll want an update of weather conditions so you can plan ahead.
If conditions are going to be extremely windy or there’s torrential rain ahead, consider giving the driving a miss for that day. Having your load secured will usually prevent anything from happening to it, but in serious weather conditions, it’s just not a risk that you want to take. There are safety devices roof rack that can protect against wet conditions, but when it’s serious you don’t want to take the chance.
The single most important part of cargo box safety is knowing how to secure the load. Follow the instructions that come with your cargo box to ensure this is done to correct standards, but also do your own follow up checks to see that everything has been secured.
You might want to invest in cargo anchors if they don’t come with your box, as these can help things from slipping if you stop suddenly. Pack the box with even weight distribution and avoid putting smaller items in there that can easily move around. Finally, don’t forget to lock the box before you head off on the road.
Driving at night comes with its own set of risks and when you’re carrying the extra weight of a cargo box this is something to be mindful of. Obviously, you should avoid night travel where possible but in cases where it can’t be avoided, there are some things you can do.
Use the designated lights on your vehicle to ensure other drivers can see you and that you have full visibility. If at any time you feel your visibility is low, pull over until you can rectify the situation. You might want to use roof rack safety lights so that other travelers can see the load you’re carrying. This will help people to show caution around your vehicle and also allow you to keep an eye on your belongings.
How we pack our cargo boxes will have a lot of impact on their safety, but it’s not just a matter of checking the weight limits and staying under it. Underloading is another potential risk as it means the items inside will probably be shifting around, and as they do, they will be changing the center o gravity of the box.
Overloading the box is another concern, so always stick to the weight limits of the device. You’ll also need to check the weight limit of your vehicle and never go over this, as it can have a dramatic effect on the balance of your vehicle. A standard weight limit for a roof rack is between 75 – 250 pounds, so choose one that suits your needs.
It’s easy to think about the weight that a cargo box adds to your car, but what about the height? When you put a typical cargo box on the roof of a car it adds quite a lot of inches, so be sure to measure up once it’s attached so you know your exact height. This will come in handy driving under bridges, in drive-through restaurants, and parking spaces.
Cargo boxes are one of the most innovative accessories the modern traveler can use, but none of this innovation means a thing without keeping safety in mind. Traveling long distances by car is already full of increased danger as it is, and when you add the weight of a cargo box up top you open yourself up to a whole new list of potential risks.
Traveling smart and understanding why cargo box safety is so important will ensure you make it to your destination with all passengers and belongings in top condition. Keep these car roof rack safety considerations in mind and you’ll be able to optimize the best use from your cargo box without adding any unnecessary danger to your journey.