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Is it time to head out for the night with your friends? Yes, I’m talking to you, Mr Designated Driver for every pub crawl night, cricket match night, and for whatever else you and your bunch of buddies can come up with next, as an excuse for fun. How many are you planning to squeeze into the back of that hatchback of yours; five, six, maybe seven?
Now before you act right now like your friends plan to do in a few hours time, let us discuss the term overloading. Your hot hatch is meant for five people and you're planning to squeeze in nine. See the problem here? However, if it still hasn't got into your thick skull, here 5 things you should know about overloading a car.
Acceleration & Braking goes for a toss
Whether your car is Ferrari with 12 cylinders or a Tata Nano with two, any extra weight is going to slow down your car. So, don't be surprised if the sprint of the line isn't as fast as it was when you were driving alone.
The same can also be said for braking. A lighter car can brake faster as it has less energy to dissipate. The extra bulk of you and your troop of pub crawlers with their beer belliesmeans that a whole lot more energy is being dissipated; taking more braking distance.
Suspension & Tyres Give Up The Ghost Quicker
Adding all the extra weight to your car also means you are compromising the suspension and tyre setup. The extra weight of the bear laden Pumbas in the back means both tyres and suspension setup face extra wear and tear. This could cause a massive blowout of the tyres or even the suspension setup's weakest points giving in. This might invite a catastrophic failure. So do you want a permanently lowered, but saggy suspension setup, not even worth its weight in scrap?
Cramped Space Makes It Harder To Steer
When you have double the capacity of people crammed into a car, reaching for the controls including the gear lever and moving the steering wheel can really take a whole lot more time and patience. This isn't something you want in case of an emergency. So prepare to scream your heads off, if that bus decides to swerve in front of you at the last minute.
Crazy Maintenance Costs & Insurance Companies Ignore You
With your parts failing to work properly and your acceleration on siesta standard time, you would think that was hopefully the end of the problem. However, your overloaded pals mean that the engine too becomes a drunkard to keep up with the ones inside the bodyshell. And you can't even get the insurance company to pay the bill, as most will just tell you that overloading means no insurance left. So, unless you find the fountain of youth for cars, you better hope your wallet can still pay, to let you and your pals play.
Safety Goes For A Toss And The Cops Look at You Like Your The Next Payday
Overloading your car also means that not everyone will be wearing a seatbelt; increasing the chances of one; a bad crash getting worse and two; the cops taking you for a ride and pumping you full of fines. Hopefully, that'll get you to kick the habit of overloading.
Thoughts on Overloading
Overloading a vehicle is something we've gotten used to here in India. From multiple people hanging out of tuk-tuks to trucks carrying three to four times their capacity on a packed highway, we've seen them all. Let's just hope common sense prevails before the overloading jugaad claims more lives.