Safe driving whilst towing
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.
Towing Safety Tips
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.
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.