Michigan Joins Over 40 States Declaring June 6 'Secure Your Load Day'

Contact: Anne Readett, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, readetta@michigan.gov, 517-248-3120
Agency: State Police

June 5, 2017

Michigan is joining traffic safety advocates across the country by reminding motorists to ensure loads are securely fastened. Gov. Rick Snyder has declared Tuesday “Secure Your Load Day” in an effort to ensure drivers take extra time and caution to secure their loads to prevent any part from becoming loose, detached or leaving the vehicle. 

In 2015, 330 crashes resulted from vehicles carrying unsecured loads in Michigan. An average of 318 crashes per year involved unsecured loads between 2011 and 2015. 

“We are reminding drivers to firmly secure everything being transported in a vehicle or trailer to reduce the risk of loads becoming loose and falling into the roadway,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Office of Highway Safety Planning. “Anything not securely fastened presents a hazard.” 

Unsecured loads can allow an object or objects that have not been fastened in or attached to the vehicle with tarps, rope, straps, netting or chains to leave the vehicle and cause significant damage to other vehicles and drivers, including death. 

When considering whether a load is safe, drivers are encouraged to ask themselves the following questions: 

  • Have I overloaded my vehicle or trailer? 
  • Have I tied large objects directly to the vehicle? 
  • Is the entire load secured at the back, sides and top with rope, netting and straps? 
  • Is there any chance something might fall or blow out of my vehicle? 
  • What would happen to my load if I hit a bump, had to brake suddenly or was hit by another vehicle? 
  • Would I feel safe driving behind my secured load? 

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have statutes regarding unsecured loads. Michigan is one of just 28 states with penalties that include a fine of not more than $500 and/or 90 days jail time. Exemptions exist within the law for highway maintenance vehicles engaged in ice or snow removal and agricultural and horticultural vehicles.