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Discussion Starter #1
The article summarized below applies to cars and SUVs, but SUVs are probably more at risk since they lack an enclosed trunk.
Info taken from Reader’s Digest, March 2003
There was an article in a last months Rearder’s Digest titled “Hidden Dangers in Your Car”. Although many cars have air bags, ABS, and good crash test results there are still several things we do wrong which increase our chance for serious injury in a crash.

If the rear passenger isn’t buckled in, the belted front passenger has a 400% higher fatality rate.
The unrestrained person in the back becomes a deadly force and the front passenger “becomes a crude air bag for the person in back”.

They also point out that we’ve started to turn our vehicles “into second living rooms” with phones, books, water bottles, Game Boys, etc… Add to that other the other stuff we haul in the cargo area like strollers, tool boxes, project supplies, and groceries (can goods, etc…) which can all turn into projectiles in a crash or roll-over.

“In a head-on crash [at] 35 mph, a one-pound can of beans in the back seat continues at that speed until in strikes someone or something with 100 pounds of force.”

The article is full of sad stories about cargo (heavy and light) killing or injuring passengers, but it’s made me think twice about what and how I haul things.

The tips they list include:
- everyone buckles up in all rows
- store small items in compartments such as seat-backs and door pockets
- secure rear cargo and if possible, don’t load above the top of the seat-back
- load cargo up against the back of the seat so it won't fly forward in a head on crash
- keep items off the dash, if your rear-ended, the items fly backwards towards the passengers
I was hesitant to post this since it’s kind of depressing, but it’s good to be forewarned. Some other owners have also pointed out the problem with loose mounting DVD players and such, so I know other people have thought about this.

I once had a 50lb speaker box bolted in the back of a hatch back. When I was rear-ended (car hit me at 30mph while I was stopped) it broke loose and spun forward - one bolt held and kept it from coming loose and seriously injuring/killing me.
 

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It makes a lot of sense, definitely good info to keep in mind. Thanks for posting.
 

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Tim, thanks for posting that for us. I have to admit, I've been guilty of having overloaded the back of our minivan on our holiday camping trips.

It got me thinking, next time when we go on our trip, perhaps I can use a tarp of some kind to cover up the loaded items in the back and somehow attach the corners with a hook which in turn would get hooked up to the cargo latches.

Anybody know, use or have seen something like that at all to provide stability and cover for items loaded in the back of a minivan or an SUV?
 

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tim.s said:
The article summarized below applies to cars and SUVs, but SUVs are probably more at risk since they lack an enclosed trunk.

I was hesitant to post this since it’s kind of depressing, but it’s good to be forewarned. Some other owners have also pointed out the problem with loose mounting DVD players and such, so I know other people have thought about this.
Great Post!

This makes more sense to have a cargo cover as a good accessory. I didn't have a cargo cover cause I thought it just hide stuff. Now it is a safety accessory!
 

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I agree. Excellent and worthwhile post.

We actually have a cargo cover (seldom used - primarily for "security" to keep out prying eyes) and have the seperation net to keep the stuff in the back, uh, in the back.
 

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aerostart45 and TheWorm,

Is there an OEM cargo cover for the Pilot? If not, what kind do you guys have and how much were they? Thanks.
 

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I have the cargo cover for security reasons, but I also bought one of these from Harbor Freight.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=39866

I had the large one for my truck and it works so good that I bought a smaller one for the Pilot. The hooks can be moved to wherever you want them, so I doubled this one over and it works great for really pinning stuff to the floor.

Be carefull when using this though, if it slips out of your hand, it's a giant slingshot and can really pop you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One of the more "enlightening" things was the affect of un-belted rear passengers. We should all insist on everyone belting in, for our safety and theirs.

I suppose in daily use, there isn't much to worry about since I don't have much loose cargo. But those long road trips are a different story - lots of gear and more uncertain roads.

I do wish there were stronger anchor points in the cargo area. I have the cargo net and the cargo cover. But the net doesn't always cover the load and the cover is more cosmetic than secure. Some strong anchor points and a set of nylon ratchet straps would be better.

I'm thinking about getting a separation net to use on long road trips - probably not crash worthy, but better than nothing. ...still thinking...
 

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tim.s said:
The article summarized below applies to cars and SUVs, but SUVs are probably more at risk since they lack an enclosed trunk.

I was hesitant to post this since it’s kind of depressing, but it’s good to be forewarned. Some other owners have also pointed out the problem with loose mounting DVD players and such, so I know other people have thought about this.
The part about the rear passenger being a danger to front seat passengers if not belted was a real eye opener to me. Thanks for the post!
 

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This thread was very enlightening :eek: regarding the dangers of unsecured cargo in the back. The separation net looks interesting, but is it strong enough to hold back cargo of any real weight? How robust are the attachment points? I've got a cargo cover on the way, mainly for security purposes, but I'm thinking about getting one of the cord nets from Harbor Freight that booger mentioned.
 

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A quick jury rig is to use a tarp and bungee cords to prevent flying objects.
 

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I always carry an assortment of bungie cords in the wheel well compartments. The ones with the plastic hooks so they don't scratch anything. They're also great for securing something (not too heavy) to the roof rack in a pinch if you don't have any twine. They sell large assortment packs at most wholesale clubs. Great big ones and itty-bitty ones.

I don't have a separation net, but the cargo net is a must-have (if it didn't come standard).

'til now, my dogs just lay out in the back, untethered, but I'm not comfortable with that. I'm thinking of getting them harnesses. Then they won't be comfortable, but they'll just have to get used to it.
 

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Before we set out on vacaton I bought a pickup truck net with bungee strap attachments. The ones for car trunks were too small and the standard cargo cover wouldn't have really held all the jumble of stuff we had to put in there. I folded the net over and reloaded everything securily under the net night after night, city after city. I felt much safer driving than if everything had been loose. I worried very much about being in a wreck with all that stuff piled in the back. I have the little one that came with the car for groceries and such. I'll keep this in the headrest compartment for vacation excesses....we don't travel lightly!
 

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Yes, this is an issue that many SUV/station wagon/minivan drivers aren't aware of. Anything loose in the car can become a projectile (the same Reader's Digest article, I believe, had the story of an infant whose skull was fractured by a toolbox in the floor of her father's car), and our vehicles without a separate trunk tend to have more of those potential projectiles about. Before I had a cargo cover, I used a large plastic storage container, held down with bungee cords. Honestly, I think I probably should still be using that, since I doubt the cargo cover really provides that much protection. Even metal dividers aren't sufficient - at least none sold in the US. The ones that have been crash-tested splinter into their own dangerous projectiles. There is one sold in Australia that stands up to crash testing, but it's not available for any vehicles sold in the US - at least, not the last time I heard.
 
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