Carrying a load

Truck load

A good defensive driving program will include knowledge on how to carry a load in your vehicle. Carrying a load requires certain skills and knowledge in order to be done properly and safely.

When it comes to defensive driving, knowing how to properly secure a load, especially if it is secured outside of the vehicle, can make all the difference in your getting to your destination safely. Loads that fall off of vehicles can not only harm the vehicle itself but also anyone who may be driving behind you!

Here are some tips on how to carry a load safely:

  • Don't overload your vehicle
    • If you're carrying a load of any kind—either people or cargo—make sure not to overload your vehicle. An overloaded vehicle is harder to operate and puts dangerous stress on certain parts of the vehicle such as the undercarriage.
  • Make sure everyone has a seat and a seat belt
    • Don't allow doubling up or trying to squeeze more people into the vehicle than it can accommodate safely.
  • Make sure cargo is properly secured
    • Make sure cargo is properly secured so it won't shift around while you're driving. Also, for external loads, ensure all strapping or other securing materials are in place and properly tightened.
  • Be certain your vision is not blocked
    • Make sure that cargo doesn't block your vision and that you can see out of all windows.
  • Supervisors should ensure that all drivers who are carrying loads are properly instructed on how to tie down the load and inspection techniques.
  • If you are not sure how to secure a load properly, ask someone for guidance before leaving the area. It is better to get help than to risk losing the load which may cause injuries to other people.
Truck load
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.