June 6 is National Secure Your Load Day

Jun 5, 2023 | Press Release

Prevent roadside litter, crashes, injuries and fatalities

SANTA FE – June 6 marks National Secure Your Load Day. The New Mexico Department of Transportation reminds drivers to properly secure items or material when hauling loads to prevent thousands of crashes, unnecessary delays, disruptions, injuries, property damage and fatalities caused by unsecured loads.

“It’s not only dangerous, it’s against the law to drop trash or debris from your vehicle,” said Transportation Secretary Ricky Serna. “Taking a moment to make sure anything we are hauling is properly secured and covered will contribute to a safer, more efficient transportation system. Take the time to secure your cargo.”

New Mexico law requires drivers to secure their loads or face a $300 fine for dropping trash or debris on state roadways.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, at 55 miles per hour, a 20-pound object that falls from a vehicle strikes with an impact of 1,000 pounds. That’s the equivalent of a 6 person hot tub or 4 full-size refrigerators falling on your windshield.

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2016 to 2020 shows unsecured loads and road debris contribute to about 730 deaths, nearly 17,000 injuries and close to 90,000 property damage crashes annually.

Washington resident Robin Abel started the national ‘Secure Your Load’ movement in 2004 after an unsecured load blinded and nearly killed her daughter, who was struck by a piece of particle board that flew out of a trailer ahead of her vehicle. At that time, there were no federal or state laws making unsecured loads a crime.

To secure cargo in your vehicle or trailer:

  • Don’t overload or rely on the weight of your cargo to hold objects in place
  • Tie loads down with rope, netting, or straps
  • Cover the load with a sturdy tarp, especially when hauling loose material like branches, logs, or miscellaneous objects
  • Always double check to make sure your load is secure to prevent shifting
  • Animals should be properly secured as well 

For more information go to www.secureyourload.com