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Secure your luggage before driving

Tuesday 26 December 2017: Professor Lynne Bilston from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) is urging drivers to check their luggage is properly secured before travelling this holiday season.  to ensure passenger safety in the car. In a crash, loose objects can become dangerous missiles striking with a force up to 20 times their own weight.

While many drivers stop off at stations to refuel and check their tyre pressure before a long drive, checking luggage is secure is just as important. Senior Principal Research Scientist, Professor Lynne Bilston recommends keeping all luggage below the height of the back seat, or to install a cargo barrier.

“The back shelf under the rear window should be free of loose articles,” said Prof Bilston.

“Luggage such as suitcases, groceries, and presents should be carefully packed in the boot space so it is evenly distributed across the width of the cargo area and close to the seatback.

“It is important to make sure if there is a child restraint fitted, luggage does not impact the tether strap.”

Transurban Group General Manager, NSW, Kristine Cooney, said the Transurban Road Safety Centre at NeuRA is committed to improving road safety for all motorists across Australia.

“The holidays are a time when drivers often pack more into their cars that they would usually, which highlights the importance of ensuring items are properly secured and packed in a way where they cannot become dislodged in the event of an accident,” said Ms Cooney.

For keeping children entertained on long journeys, Professor Bilston recommends parents plan ahead to have regular stops to rest and let the kids run around, and to bring plenty of different activities, but be avoid items that can become missiles in a crash.

Five top tips for safe driving this festive season:
1. Plan ahead before travelling so you know your route, and have snacks, drinks, and plenty of activities to keep children entertained.

  1. Make sure everyone is properly strapped in on every trip, no matter how short.
    3. Drive to the conditions and don’t let holiday traffic tempt you to take risks.
    4. Minimise distractions in the vehicle – program your GPS before you start, and have a passenger answer any phone calls or texts.
    5. Ensure you are well rested before travelling and take plenty of breaks – especially if you are travelling with kids.

For more tips on safer driving this holiday season, visit