The trunk of your vehicle is the main storage compartment. It is where the luggage, extra vehicle parts, and other important cargo are stored. The trunk is typically located at the opposite end of the engine. If the trunk latch fails and it opens while you are driving, it is best to pull over and close it as an open trunk may make it difficult to see.
Here are some things to know about driving with an open trunk:
Sometimes you need to transport objects that are larger than your trunk, causing you to leave your trunk slightly open. If this is the case, make sure the object is tied down securely before you leave the store. Furthermore, use the driver’s and passenger’s side mirrors more because you will not be able to see as well out of the rear-view mirror.
Another precaution to take when driving with the trunk open is to drive slowly. It is best to avoid highways and take the back roads to get to your destination. It is not advised to drive a long ways with your trunk open because this leaves more room for error.
While driving like this, try not to go over any speed bumps and watch out for potholes. Even if you secure the object tightly, hitting these can cause the tie downs to shift, objects to move, and things in your trunk to fall out. Since your trunk is already open, there is nothing stopping these things from happening if the tie downs fail. Be careful driving over bumpy roads and other road hazards.
Before you even start driving, make sure you can see out of your mirrors and adjust them as needed. Double check the objects in the trunk, tie the trunk securely in its position, and make sure everything is secure before you start driving. Furthermore, be aware of the traffic around you and practice defensive driving, as getting in an accident in this condition can be especially dangerous. The object may fly out and the open trunk has the potential to damage other vehicles.
Driving with an open trunk is not recommended, but if you have to transport a large object, do so with caution. Secure the object with tie downs and make sure the trunk stays in place as well. Stay off the highway and other main roads if possible. In addition, keep careful watch while driving for road hazards.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With the Trunk Open? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.