Safety when towing
A recent crash involving a trailer that became detached from a van and smashed into an oncoming car, killing the driver, highlights the importance of safety when towing.
The Van Excellence Code identifies a number of best practice points to remember…
- It's important to ensure the towing vehicle and trailer are suitable for the task and are roadworthy. Trailers may not have been used for a while so it's vital to check that tyres and lights are in good condition and working
- Drivers must be qualified and competent for the task - those born after 1 January 1997 may need an additional qualification so always check licences to be sure
- Check vehicle weights as it is easy to overload gross and axle limits when towing
- Check load security - make sure the load is securely fastened to the trailer before driving off
- Make sure the trailer is correctly hitched and both the lighting cables and the breakaway cable are properly connected
- Be aware that the vehicle will handle differently and braking distances will increase
- Remember that the vehicle is likely to be more affected by side wind and turbulence on motorways
- Know the rules? Help to make sure your operation does too with FTA's Small Vehicle Towing Trailers poster.
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)