Properly Securing Your Vehicle's Load Secures Your Safety on North Carolina Highways and Beyond

In 2016, 657 crashes occurred from unsecured loads, which caused 179 serious injuries and four deaths

Properly Securing Your Vehicle's Load Secures Your Safety on North Carolina Highways and Beyond
Image: NCCC
June 8, 2017

Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed June 6 as Secure Your Load Day in North Carolina—reminding motorists to take the time to reduce the risk of crashes, injuries, or even death by firmly securing the items they carry in and on their vehicles and trailers.

Unsecured loads that have not been properly fastened with tarp, rope, straps, netting, or chains can easily fall from a moving vehicle. This debris not only creates litter on our roadways, but can cause significant damage as well.

"Taking a few minutes to properly secure your load could save time, money, and heartache for yourself and others," said Don Nail, Director of the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program. "Most importantly, it could save lives."

In 2016, 657 crashes occurred from unsecured loads, which caused 179 serious injuries and four deaths.

Under North Carolina law, it is illegal to haul an improperly secured load. Penalties for littering include a fine of up to $2,000, community service, and one point on a driver's license if convicted.

The Governor's Highway Safety Program urges motorists to follow the following safety tips:

Lighter goes lower. Put items that weigh less on the bottom. As your load gets bigger, evenly distribute the weight to keep items from sliding.

Tie it down. Use ropes, bungee cords, straps, or netting to secure large or heavy items directly to the vehicle. Check that your restraints are in good condition and are not frayed, damaged or cut. Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer.

Cover it up. A tarp or netting can be used to keep loose items, like leaves, tree clippings, or clothing from blowing off--but remember to secure the tarp properly.

Double check. Walk around each side of the load and check the top to make sure everything is secure. Items will move and settle during your drive, which can cause restraints to loosen. Double check your load again shortly after you begin your trip.

Secure Your Load Day complements the NC Vision Zero initiative, which aims to save lives on North Carolina roadways. The goal is to reach zero traffic-related fatalities through coordinated agency-to-agency efforts that help reduce risky driving behaviors by changing the overall traffic safety culture.