Are you going on a long family car journey? Do you know who is sitting where? Here we address the different options depending on the number of children in the family to make sure everyone is safe. Once we know this, we also need to know how to place the luggage. Bear in mind that it is likely that you leave with less luggage than you bring back from your holiday destination. Don't miss these tips for carrying your luggage safely on these family trips.
It is important to bear in mind that carrying excess baggage can be dangerous, especially if you exceed the authorized Vehicle Weight. Known by the initials ‘GVW’, this is the gross maximum weight a vehicle is authorized to have on the roads once it has been loaded. Hence, the Class B license only allows vehicles with a maximum gross vehicle weight of 3,500 kg to be driven.All the information on maximum weights can be found in the vehicle's technical data sheet and in the Technical Vehicle Inspection Card (TVI), which we recommend you consult before setting off on your journey.
Excessive weight affects the stability of the car, the car takes longer to accelerate and brake and it consumes more fuel. In addition, if luggage is not properly stowed, it can jeopardize the safety of passengers in the event of braking or an accident, as it can be projected and hit the passengers. It is important to emphasize that luggage may not, under any circumstance, be placed in the passenger area.
THIS IS HOW TO PLACE YOUR LUGGAGE BEFORE SETTING OFF ON YOUR JOURNEY:
As previously mentioned, it must be placed in a different area and physically separated from the passengers. If necessary, put up a safety mesh to keep the two areas separate and make sure that everything is securely fastened.
-Place the luggage evenly to it avoid affecting the stability. Ensure that the weight is distributed throughout the luggage compartment. Place luggage from heaviest to lightest. The center of gravity should be as low as possible, so the heaviest items should be placed as far forward as possible. Place the largest and hardest suitcases at the back.
-A good option to increase safety, especially when the space is separated by a mesh or when the luggage could fall into the passenger area, is to secure it, with elastics or a net for example. It is important to make sure the luggage cannot move.
-The boot may not be enough. For example, if you are carrying strollers or extra luggage, you can use a car roof box. These are suitable for long objects such as strollers or scooters. Remember that to use them you must first install a roof rack.
-Use boot organizers for small items.
-When there is extra luggage, another option is to use a trailer of up to 750 kg (with a B type license). If you use a trailer, the way you drive will also be affected. The maximum authorized weight, including vehicle and trailer, must not exceed 3,500 kg, which is the maximum authorized weight for a B type driving license.
-Leave anything you may need during the journey, such as diapers, food, water, medicine, etc., in an accessible place in the luggage compartment.
-Increase attention and caution when driving.
-Increase the safety distance. As previously mentioned, the vehicle will take longer to accelerate and brake the more luggage it is carrying.
-Before setting off, check the tire pressure. The pressure will vary if the car is carrying more or less weight. Follow the car manufacturer's instructions regarding the tire pressure.
-To reduce fuel consumption a little, we suggest you drive smoothly and evenly, without sudden acceleration and braking, drive in high gears and at moderate speeds.
-Plan your journey and take into account possible unforeseen events. Choose the safest route with the best road conditions and rest areas.
-Avoid blind spots, i.e. areas where there is no visibility. This can occur, in particular, if luggage protrudes from the back of the vehicle. Position the side and center mirrors to avoid this.
-If you use a roof box, be aware that they raise the vehicle's center of gravity and make it more unstable. If so, reduce your speed and increase the safety distance.
-If you are traveling with pets, don't forget that they must also be properly secured. If they are small they can travel in a pet carrier or with a specific seat belt on the back seat. On the other hand, if your pet is big, it should travel in the luggage compartment. In this case, a specific net or mesh between the luggage compartment and the passenger compartment might also be necessary.
In this infographic we address the consequences of not carrying items correctly in the vehicle: