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Between July and September 2013, 2,415 towing related incidents were recorded on Highways Agency roads, potentially causing long delays and distress to those involved.
Many of these incidents could have been avoided which is why the Highways Agency is appealing to those people planning to head out onto the road with a caravan or trailer this summer, to make some essential checks before they set off.
Highways Agency Service Delivery Manager Andy Withington says: “If a car is off the road for months it’s common sense to check it is roadworthy before taking it back out and we strongly urge people to do the same with their trailers and caravans.”
Frequent causes of incidents include overloading the caravan or trailer, a mismatch with the towing vehicle, tyres which have burst because they have not been checked or replaced where needed and poor towing technique.
The Highways Agency offers some advice below to anyone towing a caravan or trailer this summer below:
1. Always carry out a maintenance check before you set off, particularly if the caravan or trailer has been out of use during the winter months.
2. Check the condition and pressure of the tyres both on the towed and towing vehicle.
3. Check that any loads in the towed and towing vehicle are secure and that the weight is evenly distributed and not excessive.
4. Be conscious of increasing braking distances – towing will affect your vehicle’s performance.
5. Use extended mirrors if you are towing a wider trailer such as a caravan to ensure clear and legal visibility of the trailer and other vehicles on the road.
6. Check you have the right driving licence for the vehicle and trailer combination and that you have proper breakdown cover in place, should you need it.
The Highways Agency encourages all drivers to plan their journeys. Visit the Highway’s Agency’ s website for more information on safe towing or contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.