Secure your load, it could save a life

A white truck with cargo the truck bed.

BOISE— Safe driving goes beyond the steering wheel; it extends to your whole vehicle and trailer when you hit the road. That’s why the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is recognizing National Secure Your Load Day on June 6, 2023.  It is every driver’s responsibility to ensure all cargo is safely secured. Unsecured loads pose a safety risk on our roadways.

Objects or debris can fall from vehicles or trailers and collide with other vehicles or pedestrians, causing serious injuries or fatalities. Idaho code states, no vehicle shall be operated on any public highway unless such vehicle’s load is secured to prevent the load from becoming loose, detached or a hazard to other users of the highway.

“Many drivers think that only commercial vehicle drivers are responsible for securing their cargo,” said OHS Program Manager Josephine Middleton. “We want our community to know that it is every driver’s responsibility to ensure their load is properly secured. It’s the right thing to do and it could save the life of the person behind you.”

According to Idaho’s Crash Database, from 2018 to 2022, 82 people were injured as a result of an object that was not properly secured. During this same time period, 2 people lost their lives. Non-commercial passenger vehicles accounted for 61% of the crashes in which cargo was not properly secured.

Before transporting a load, check that your vehicle’s load is secured on the top, sides, and back, and make sure nothing can blow or fall out. Ensure your load is safe if you were to suddenly hit the brakes or a speed bump, or if you were hit by another vehicle. Ask yourself, “Would I feel safe driving behind my loaded vehicle?”

Follow these tips to ensure you properly secure your load:

  • Tie it down with rope, netting, or straps.
  • Tie large objects directly to your vehicle or trailer.
  • Consider covering the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle or trailer.
  • Always double-check your load to make sure it’s secure.