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Pack your car for safe driving on a road trip. Make it safe. Make it easy. Make it fun.

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There are a lot of things to plan when heading out on a road trip and it’s easy to leave packing until the last possible minute. But loading up your vehicle the wrong way could put you and your loved ones at risk. Stay safe and give yourself ample time to pack and load the car to ensure your safety with these simple tips.

The “right way” to pack
Turns out, your Dad was right. There really is a “right way” to pack a car. Every vehicle has a load capacity and excessive baggage affects vehicle safety as well as passenger comfort.1

A loaded car is heavier than usual so inspect your tire pressure and ensure there is plenty of tread before you head out with extra weight in your car. If you are prone to aggressive driving, you’ll want to curb your hard braking, speeding and quick acceleration tendencies since a fully loaded car requires more time for braking. Check the Trips feature in the GasBuddy app to find out if you drive aggressively—you might be surprised what you learn.

Pack strategically
Start by loading the largest and heaviest items, keeping most of the weight towards the center of the car. This distributes the load more evenly over both front and back wheels, allowing the fully loaded car to handle as normally as possible.

Loading the heaviest items on the floor also keeps the overall center of gravity lower. If you must stop suddenly or have an accident, this will help reduce the chance of a rollover.

And make sure items are stored securely! The last thing the driver needs is a beach ball in the face. (That’s not the way to start a fun road trip.)

Need extra room?
Rooftop car carriers can hold an additional 75 to 250 pounds2 and free up some much-needed space for passengers. The extra weight up high may affect your vehicle’s handling, so make sure to allow extra space between your car and others on the road.

Don’t forget extras!
Make stuff easy for everyone to reach. It’s safer than handing things back and forth between seats. Have a consistent place for everything during the trip so kids and adults can find what they need.

The main console between the front seats is a good place for essentials. Stash electronic chargers, tissues, wet wipes, a flashlight and car safety items.

For games, toys and other entertainment items, have each passenger pack a small bag they can keep next to them for easy access. You can also utilize the pockets on the back of the front seats for small items.

Preparing in advance and packing your items safety can make the trip more enjoyable and ensure that you – and your vehicle – reach your destination safe and sound! But if you do cause some damage or run into some unexpected repairs, you can always turn to the Synchrony Car Care™ credit card to help ease the stress of the bill.

Sources:
1. Keys to Smart Car Packing (ConsumerReports.org)
2. Five Tips for Packing the Car for a Road Trip (Adventure.HowStuffWorks.com)

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GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $3.6 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017.