Loading cars safely

Everything to do with safe loading

Find legal requirements and tips on how to correctly secure loads here.

Legal provisions concerning safe loading

  • “The load should be attached in such a way that nobody is endangered or inconvenienced, and that nothing is able to fall down. Overhanging loads must be labelled conspicuously by day and night.” (Art. 30 Para. 2 RTA (Swiss Road Traffic Act))
  • “The driver must ensure that he or she is not hindered due to the load or any other means.” (Art. 31 Para. 3 RTA)
  • “Components, work devices or loader parts which could be hazardous in the event of collision, namely due to sharp points or edges, must be fitted with safeguards.” (Art. 58 Para. 1 TRegO (Swiss Traffic Regulations Ordinance))

Securing the load correctly

  • Securing the load correctly begins with intelligent loading.
  • Never leave free-standing objects on the loading surface. Always place these on solid surfaces such as the rear seat.
  • Always stow heavy luggage right at the bottom.
  • If objects are too bulky for the interior space, they should be placed and secured in an approved roof box or carrier.
  • The vehicle’s safety belt can often be used to secure the load (e.g. a backpack).
  • If you are carrying heavy luggage items and the rear seat is unoccupied, insert the external safety belt into the adjacent socket.
  • Do not stack above the top edge of the rear seat backrest. Cover the luggage with a net or a blanket and tie it down.
  • If the vehicle is fitted with a luggage partition net, smaller and lightweight objects can be stowed above the backrest. However, they must be fixed to the beltline hooks provided using a tension strap.
  • Keep tension straps in the car; many purchases are spur of the moment. Elastic straps or rubber luggage spider straps are not suitable for securing the load. Ensure the weight is evenly distributed; place heavy items at the bottom and, where possible, do not place items weighing more than 25 kg behind people.
  • Especially heavy items may need to be stowed in the passenger footwell if unoccupied.
  • Cover crates and baskets containing loose parts.
  • Pointed items or those with sharp edges (skis, etc.) should not only be braced but also secured with a standard wooden board on the backrest of the front seats to prevent them from breaking through and causing injury.
  • Ensure there is ample time to correctly secure the load.
  • The vehicle user information often contains information on securing loads.
  • Specially designed carriers should be used when transporting bicycles.
  • Place the warning triangle in a location where it can be accessed quickly.
  • Travelling with dogs: although not prescribed by law, dog crates are certainly advisable to ensure issue-free transportation.

Driving a loaded vehicle

  • Correct the tyre pressure in accordance with the user manual.
  • Maintain sufficient distance. Braking distances increase when carrying loads.
  • Adjust your driving style to the load being carried.
  • Observe the permitted axle loads and total weight.
  • If driving with a roof box or roof carrier, do not exceed the permitted roof load.
  • Take a break every two hours or 200 km (stretch your legs, move about).
  • Drink enough fluids.