Most drivers don’t realize that towing is different from driving normally. There are some towing safety facts that you must observe when you are towing so that you don’t end up causing accidents. For instance, a 35-mph crosswind can put as much as 3,440 pounds of force pushing against a huge trailer. This is from research done on commercial vehicle towing accidents by Knott Laboratory.
Take Your Time
Speeding is very dangerous, especially when you are towing another vehicle or a trailer. When you have a trailer, you must move at a slower speed than you usually do. Ideally, you should maintain your speed at about 55 km/h. This will help you maintain control if your trailer starts to sway. If you are moving very fast and your trailer starts to sway, it might start to whip. Unfortunately, if this happens, the car will be very difficult to control and stay on the road. Also, as you go uphill, slow down and engage a lower gear. For additional safety, you will also have to turn your flashers on to warn other drivers that you’ll be moving slower than usual.
If You Lose Control, Don’t Panic
It’s not uncommon to lose control if you are towing. However, if this happens, don’t panic. Rather, remember your towing safety facts. Panicking might cause you to make all the wrong moves and worsen the situation. For instance, remember never to steer sharply or apply your brakes if you lose control. If you are towing something heavy, making sudden moves can cause accidents because your momentum can send both your car and the trailer in the wrong direction.
Stay Within Capacity
Every vehicle has a towing capacity. You must always check the towing capacity of your car before you go on the road. Going past your capacity can be very dangerous. This can affect the performance of your brakes, and this can cause handling complications. You might also end up damaging your suspension, engine, or drivetrain. Also, when towing, remember to factor in any passengers and extra luggage. This will contribute to your total load.
Inspect Your Trailer
Before you head out, you must inspect the trailer to ensure that everything is working as it should. For instance, you must check to see if the trailer lights are working before you start. You must also double-check to see if the trailer is hooked to your car properly.
There are a lot of towing safety facts that you should know about towing. Before you go on the road, you must also find someone to help you perform a final check of your trailer. They might spot something that you would have missed.