It’s understandable to wonder whether a cargo box mounted on the roof of your automobile is secure given that you’ll be going at speeds of more than 55 miles per hour. You definitely don’t want your carrier to come flying off in the midst of traffic, and thankfully, that seldom happens.

Rooftop cargo boxes are useful for frequent travelers and those who are short on trunk space.

What about the safety of cargo containers mounted on the roof?

They are manufactured to withstand high speeds and severe terrain, thus the answer is yes, they are safe. Because of their aerodynamic design, they are able to slice through the air with little effect on your vehicle’s speed. In addition, you may safely fasten your cargo box to the roof of your vehicle using several methods, such as latches, clamps, and bungee cords.

You can’t afford to take any risks when you’re going this fast over such a long distance. It’s crucial to weigh all of the factors so you can make the best judgments; in certain scenarios, your cargo box might really be harmful.

When Their Safety Is Not Guaranteed

It is important to remember that you can’t just sling your cargo box over the roof of your vehicle, secure the latches, and drive away. It’s important to follow the equipment’s installation guidelines to guarantee the safety of your cargo box.

Even if you take all the essential safeguards, there are still plenty of scenarios in which your cargo box might endanger you.

The installation of your cargo box, for instance, may render it unsafe if done incorrectly. On other occasions, you may not damage your cargo box until you forget you have it and hit the ceiling of a low garage.

If the cargo box is adequately fastened, then it might be safe even if it is not packed well. Heavy objects that may shift back and forth in the cargo area may get dislodged when the vehicle’s inertia shifts.

The following are some other potential dangers to consider:

  • Sloppy fastenings
  • Conditions of extreme weather
  • An uneven distribution of weight
  • Physical constraints on velocity and load
  • Tire pressure too low
  • The lock on the cargo compartment is blocked

Make sure you’re aware of all you need to know about your cargo box and its contents before you depart on vacation by reading the instructions carefully.

How Crucial Correct Installation Is

The most crucial step is installing your cargo box, so be sure to do it well to avoid problems later on.

Transport containers have varying installation needs. It’s true that carriers like the RoofBag can be used with practically any automobile since they’re universal and don’t need for any specialized tools or extensive installation, but hard-top carriers have their own set of benefits.

Clamps on hard-top carriers usually need to be adjusted, and doing so with the appropriate amount of torque is essential. Torque parameters are often included in the instructions and will provide all the information you need.

Both over- and under-torquing may cause issues and make for a dangerous cargo box, so it’s crucial to get the nut-and-bolt tightening exactly right. To ensure that your cargo box is always locked and safe, certain models have a torque indicator. Now that you have these safeguards in place, you may relax as you pull out of the driveway.

Any problems that arise from the setup process might end up being dangerous when driving. Unfastened straps, dangling clamps, and inadequate roof racks all pose a serious safety concern. However, the journey won’t be a problem for a freight box that’s been securely secured.

Contrasting the Experience of Driving an SUV with That of a Car

Is It Safe to Use a Roof Cargo Box?

Consider the sort of vehicle you drive while making decisions about the rooftop carrier’s security.

How secure are cargo boxes mounted on the top of SUVs and other high-riding vehicles?

In all likelihood, yes, but it’s critical to recognize the distinction between the two. Adding a rooftop carrier to an SUV or other high-riding vehicle increases the danger of tipping over due to the shift in the vehicle’s center of gravity.

It’s crucial to make sure that any extra weight you put on top is properly fastened and distributed over the structure. In addition to the increased drag caused by the higher profile of an SUV, a large rooftop carrier with an unequal weight distribution might be particularly hazardous in strong winds.

Weight and speed restrictions

It’s also important to remember that safety standards may have to be lowered if weather becomes more severe. However, even though cargo boxes are built to resist a lot of force and speed on the highway, they still have their limitations.

Weight restrictions apply more to the car’s roof and rack than to the cargo box itself. The weight of the cargo box must be included into the equation when determining how much goods can be transported in a given vehicle.

The heaviest Yakima Skybox carrier, for instance, has a 165-pound capacity but weighs 62 pounds itself, so if you were to load it to capacity, your car would need to be able to handle a total of 227 pounds on its roof.

While it’s very improbable that you’d load your cargo box to its maximum capacity, keep in mind that your vehicle’s weight restriction may be far lower than the box’s.

For example, if the maximum weight allowed for a factory rack is 120 pounds, the maximum load weight for the cargo box would be calculated by deducting the weight of the cargo box and any extra equipment from the total.

Maximum safety requires consideration of both weight and velocity. You may notice a maximum speed in your manual that indicates how quickly you can go with your cargo box completely loaded.

Because of their aerodynamic design, these containers become more hazardous the faster you travel through air.

Which is better, factory or aftermarket?

Has your vehicle a roof rack? If not, you’ll need to buy a separate roof rack, however many makers of cargo boxes also provide racks that are designed to work with their respective products.

Are roof cargo boxes still secure if you don’t use a roof rack manufactured by the roof box’s manufacturer?

The answer may depend on the kind of cargo box you choose and the roof rack you currently have.

If you do not have the correct roof rack, it is possible that your roof box will not fit correctly. This is in no way safe, and you do not want to try to fit a storage box onto the roof rack that it was not designed for.

In a stroke of luck, many cargo boxes are designed to accommodate a wide range of vehicles, so you won’t need to buy crossbars individually. It should be made clear whether or not the cargo boxes you’re considering are compatible with factory racks.

Though, if you want to load your cargo box to the brim, it can be worthwhile to have the additional strength provided by aftermarket racks or racks that have been specially built. You may purchase a wide selection of straps, cords, and clips to further fasten your cargo box.

Safety nets and additional bungee cords

Extra security measures are always welcome, regardless of how safe you believe your cargo box to be. The less motion your cargo box experiences, the better; bungee cables and safety netting will anchor it to your rooftop and lessen shaking.

Bungee cords or a cargo net may prevent your goods from flying out into the road if your cargo box ever breaks free.

Companies that manufacture luggage and rooftop boxes sometimes also provide additional security features.

You might also use a net to enclose your bags and attach them to a strong cargo basket. There are many options for securing your luggage to the top of your vehicle; choose the one that best suits your needs.

Maintain a safe and usable cargo hold at all times

Take care of your cargo box and it will serve you well for many years without posing any safety risks.


Greasing some clamps and exposed metals, for instance, may protect them against corrosion caused by exposure to the elements over time. Due to their significance, these components must be kept in good working order at all times.

When the weather becomes poor, it’s a good idea to take your cargo box off to reduce the risk of corrosion or damage. Cargo boxes of days are built to be readily connected and uninstalled, so you may leave them wherever you need them, regardless of the weather.

It’s crucial to locate a dry area to store your cargo box when it’s not in use, and it’s also important to keep the interior of your box clean and the working components oiled to prevent unnecessary wear and strain.

Some Extra Precautions

You can safeguard your cargo box and its contents by keeping a weather eye on it and checking to see that the locks on it aren’t blocked.

You can minimize potential dangers before, during, and after your trip by following the advice below.

Put Heavy Things Where They Belong

It’s important to strike a balance between having a lightweight cargo box and a heavy one. Extremely heavy objects should be placed in the trunk, while moderately heavy items should be carefully distributed around the cargo area.

Having more weight on one side of your cargo box than the other might cause it to tip over, so it’s best to distribute the weight evenly if at all feasible. It’s ideal if the bulkier goods can be kept in the center.

Use plastic wrap to protect precious items

Although cargo bags and boxes are typically waterproof and have enough seals to prevent water from entering through the entrance, additional precautions should still be taken.

Wrapping expensive or irreplaceable goods in plastic bags provides an additional layer of defense against water damage if they must be kept up above.

Consider the Additional Height

Many cargo boxes, like the Thule Pulse, are rather narrow and only have a height of 12.5″, therefore you usually won’t have any complications with such a little extension. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to keep in mind its presence anytime you’ll be entering confined areas.

It’s wiser to err on the side of caution than to risk harming your vehicle or anybody else’s property in high-risk areas like residential garages, parking garages, and drive-thru restaurants.

Keep an ear out for strange noises and a lot of activity

You should probably pull over if you notice an unusually loud noise coming from your cargo box while you’re on the road. If you hear a rattling or your baggage slamming back and forth vigorously, pull over to the shoulder of the road immediately.

You can never tell what’s going on, so it’s best to check it out just in case.


Final Thoughts

When driving, is it safe to use a roof cargo box? You may be certain that these items will safely attach to the top of your automobile, and their aerodynamic construction will minimize the drag caused by the wind.

It’s enough to check that you’re packing sensibly and following directions. Doing so will allow you to rest easy knowing that your possessions are secure and prevent future hassles.