Safe driving whilst towing

Towing safety

Staying safe on the road

Pulling a load inevitably impacts on the performance of your vehicle. Stopping distances increase, cornering and manoeuvres take longer and require extra care. Being familiar with how your vehicle behaves when towing is really worth the time and effort.

Environmental factors can impact on the driving experience much more noticeably, particularly strong cross-winds. Take note of the weather forecast and be just that little bit more careful.

Shogun Sport towing boat along cliff road

Trailer Speed

Driving at speed

National speed limits apply (in the UK) but on dual carriageways and motorways towing vehicles are limited to 60mph and required not to use the right-hand lane on motorways. Generally just remember that you have a heavier load than usual and that therefore it will take longer to stop.
Shogun Sport towing boat on gravel track

Reduce Speed

Braking

Avoid braking sharply especially on bends as the trailer momentum can cause you to jack-knife. Reduce speed well before a corner and then ease back onto the accelerator as you come out the other side.

Towing Safety Tips

Snaking

The term "snaking" refers to when the article being towed moves out of line with the towing vehicle and begins to shift from side to side. Unless it is stopped snaking can easily cause a loss of control over the vehicle.

 

1. What causes snaking

Snaking can be caused by incorrect load placement (usually too far to the rear), side winds, or instability in the balance of the trailer itself.

2. How to prevent snaking

When it occurs, snaking can be stopped by changing down a gear and taking both feet off the peddles, keeping the steering wheel straight and lightly applying the brakes if going downhill.

3. How not to prevent snaking

Do not attempt to accelerate out or try and beat the motion by steering as its more than likely that you’ll just make the problem worse. Keep the vehicle straight and slow down gently.

Improve Stability

Stabilisers

It is also possible to purchase stabilisers to improve the stability of a trailer and these are particularly useful on high-sided trailers such as caravans and horse boxes. Stabilisers should not be considered a substitute for good loading and driving practice.

 

Check your tyres

Tyres

Always check your trailer before every journey. Checks on tyre pressure and general condition are essential.

View tyre guide

Read your manuals

Owners Manual

Refer to the manufacturers instructions for information about service intervals and every day maintenance as this can be different for different types (such as commercial trailers, caravans, etc.)

Stay well maintained

Maintenance

Always ensure you keep up with the recommended maintenance and servicing of your trailer.

Book a service

To learn more about Towing, go to Reversing