Highways England has issued motorists with towing advice. It follows around 4,000 incidents on the nation’s roads each and every year involving towing…
Highways England’s towing advice is as straightforward as it gets, ‘check it before towing it.’ Simple mistakes can have serious repercussions for the road network. ‘Runaway’ trailers can cause delays of around 40 minutes. It goes without saying, rogue trailers can also pose enormous dangers to motorists, too. The problem is particularly prevalent at this time of year, when millions of Brits are returning from their holidays; more caravans and trailers will be on the road than at any other point in the year.
Stuart Lovatt, Highways England’s strategic road safety lead, stressed that towing incidents like the one on the M25 are rare; but emphasised the need for thorough checks. He said, “thankfully incidents like the one on the M25 are very rare but now is the time to remind motorists of the need to make sure you have carried out proper checks and have loaded the trailer or vehicle correctly”. He added, “we have all sorts travelling on our network including horse boxes, trailer tents and leisure vehicles such as boats and caravans. Our message today is really simple, check it before towing it. So that everyone gets home, safe and well”.
What Causes Towing Accidents?
There are a number of factors that contribute to towing accidents. These include the likes of driving too quickly, encountering fierce crosswinds and not attaching breakaway cables correctly. In addition, many motorists load their trailers poorly (failing to distribute the weight) or overloading them altogether. Another classic mistake is to ignore a vehicle’s maximum towing capacity; something included in a vehicle’s driver’s manual.
To avoid towing accidents, you should ensure that your car is up to the job first. This includes checking its maximum towing capacity and ensuring it’s in a good enough condition to face the strain. Make sure to adapt your speed limit, too; it’s 60 mph on motorways for vehicle’s with a trailer. You’ll also have to be cautious when driving downhill or overtaking. Be mindful of poor weather conditions, too, such as rain or snow. If you do encounter instability, remain calm and ease off of the accelerator. After the incident, make sure to investigate your trailer and cables; make sure everything remains secure and in place.
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