Secure your load

Have you ever had a rock hit your windshield? Now imagine that object is a ladder, Orange diamond shaped sign that says secure your loadwheelbarrow, hammer, cordwood or piece of furniture. Now imagine that the family behind that load is your family. Wisconsin has laws (348.10, Wis. Stats) on unsecured loads and offenders may face jail time and fines if someone is hurt or property is damaged.

Driving with an unsecured load is both against the law and extremely dangerous. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 739 deaths, 17,367 injuries and 89,915 property damage crashes resulted from unsecured loads and road debris.

A load must be securely fastened and is only considered secure when nothing can drop, sift, leak or otherwise escape onto the roadway or become airborne.

To secure the load in your vehicle or trailer:

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

Before you drive, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there any chance of debris or cargo falling or blowing out of my vehicle?
  • Is my load secured at the back, sides and top?
  • What would happen to my load if I had to brake suddenly, hit a bump, or another vehicle hit me?
  • Would I want my loaded vehicle driving through my neighborhood?
  • Would I feel safe if I were driving behind my vehicle?
  • Is "Secure Your Load" on my company's safety checklist?

Did you know?

  • A 20 lb. object traveling at 55 miles per hour has a force equal to 1,000 lbs. at impact.
  • Unsecured loads are responsible for up to 40% of the litter on our roads, costing us billions of dollars each year.