Towing Essentials

22 May 2017

Good caravanners know you can’t just hitch up and drive. There’s a few mechanical basics that all owners should be aware of, and know how to check. Keeping your trailer in good working order will give you peace of mind while you drive, and reduce the chance of mechanical mishap on the move.

Towbar – It’s the main connection between your car and your trailer, so it’s vital to keep it well maintained. It should be checked as part of the MOT annually, but it’s also worth inspecting the bracket regularly for any cracks, rust or loose bolts. Detachable towbars should be treated with extra care. If you’re not sure, get it looked at by a specialist.

Tyres – these are the only contact your vehicle has with the road. Ensuring you have the correct pressure and sufficient tread, and that your tyres aren’t worn, bulging or cracked should be a regular check, and certainly before any long journey. Look after your tyres and your drive will be smoother and safer.

Electrics – It’s the law that your car must have an audible or visual signal that the caravan indicators are working. You’ll need to check manually to make sure the brake lights are working. Check every time you set off, in case the cables aren’t connected properly.

Suspension – It’s important for both safety and comfort that the condition of both car and caravan suspension is good. Your caravan should tow level or with the nose slightly down, rather than up. You may need some form of suspension aid if the rear of the car sags at all.  You’ll need to check with a specialist for the best solution.

Mirrors – By law, your mirrors must give you a clear view to the rear and side of your trailer. If the view is obscured by the caravan, you’ll need to fit towing mirrors. Always make sure the mirrors are adjusted before you set off, and that you remove the extension mirrors when you uncouple the trailer.

More Road Safety News:

  • Don't Fight the Signs of Tiredness

    23 Mar 2018

    Did you know that driver fatigue can be as dangerous as drink-driving? Similar to the effects of alcohol,...

  • Ride Safe - Riding hat Essentials

    16 Feb 2018

    It’s the law for children to wear a riding hat, and it’s strongly recommended that all riders...

  • Don’t take a chance on your night of romance!

    9 Feb 2018

    This Valentines Somerset County Council’s road safety team want to have a heart-to-heart about...

  • Somerset Road Safety
    Have your say on how to make Somerset’s roads safer

    2 Feb 2018

    Residents are being urged to have their say on a new strategy which aims to prevent deaths and injuries...

  • No Mobile When Mobile!

    26 Jan 2018

    Almost a quarter of drivers admitted to using a mobile phone to make or take a call in 2017 according...

  • Somerset Road Safety
    Winter Driving On Rural Roads

    12 Jan 2018

    Somerset is blessed with a fantastic and varied landscape: leafy lanes, historic villages and areas...

  • Make Your New Year's Resolution a Life Saver

    5 Jan 2018

    It’s a New Year, and a great time to make little changes for the better. While you’re weighing...

  • None For the Road Please

    25 Dec 2017

    The maximum blood alcohol limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml...

  • How To Navigate Christmas Without A Flying Sleigh

    19 Dec 2017

    Yuletide travel combines a whole host of hardships and dangers, making Father Christmas glad he stays...

  • Winter Driving

    11 Dec 2017

    British weather can be hugely variable. Driving in winter can present a host of hazards across the country...

  • Drink Driving

    4 Dec 2017

    With Christmas festivities getting underway, stay aware of your alcohol consumption and don’t...

  • Driving Test Changes

    27 Nov 2017

    Monday 4th December sees some big changes to the UK driving test. The aim is to modernise the test,...

  • What You Need To Know About Drug Driving

    20 Nov 2017

      In the 12 months following the 2015 change in legislation, nearly 8000 people were arrested...

  • Winter Car Maintenance

    13 Nov 2017

    Keeping your car in good condition will improve your safety in wet, dark and icy conditions, and mean...

  • Stay Cycling this Winter

    6 Nov 2017

    Cycling is a fantastic way to keep fit, save money and often save time when travelling to work. Getting...

  • Bonfire Night

    30 Oct 2017

    Fireworks and bonfires are something to look forward to around November 5th, but there are a few road...

  • Stay Safe this Halloween

    23 Oct 2017

    Halloween is a great event that the whole family can enjoy. However, the increase in pedestrian activity...

  • Motorbiking In To Winter

    16 Oct 2017

    Some riders understandably mothball their machines during the colder months, but for those who rely...

  • Tyre Safety Month

    9 Oct 2017

    How often to you check your tyres? Do you know when to change them?  TyreSafe’s research...

  • Can You See Clearly?

    2 Oct 2017

      Being able to see clearly when driving is vital not only to ensure your safety but to ensure...

  • Sharing the Road

    25 Sep 2017

    UK roads are getting busier every year, and more than ever it’s important to be aware of different...

  • Be Safe Be Seen

    18 Sep 2017

    Autumn is here and the nights are starting to draw in. Making sure you can be seen on the roads is crucial...

  • Autumn Driving Advice

    11 Sep 2017

    The change in season is a beautiful time – stunning autumn leaves, misty mornings and hazy sunsets....

  • Back To School

    4 Sep 2017

    September is here and the children are heading back to school. This will mean even busier traffic at...

  • Plan Your Journey

    28 Aug 2017

    A well- planned journey can save you time, reduce stress, minimise distractions and most importantly...

  • Bank Holiday Travel Advice

    21 Aug 2017

    Millions of motorists will be taking to the nation’s roads this weekend. If you’re one of...

  • Coping with a Breakdown

    14 Aug 2017

    Even a well-maintained vehicle can break down or have a puncture so it’s always best to plan ahead...

  • Choose your Shoes!

    7 Aug 2017

    There are no laws in the UK that dictate what footwear you can drive in. Technically you can wear high...

  • Young Drivers

    31 Jul 2017

    Young drivers in the UK are one of the most at-risk groups on the road. Under 20s are involved in 12%...

  • Driving Abroad

    24 Jul 2017

    Don’t get caught out if you’re driving abroad - the rules of the road vary from country...

  • Road Rage

    17 Jul 2017

    Good driving requires a responsible attitude and high levels of both concentration and anticipation....

  • What is Bikeability?

    10 Jul 2017

    In 2016 Somerset Road Safety provided free Bikeability training to 2000 year 6 children. Bikeability...

  • Drug Driving

    3 Jul 2017

    In 2015 the laws of drug driving changed, the new laws made it an offence to drive with more than a...

  • Glastonbury Travel Advice

    19 Jun 2017

    With an estimated 50,000 cars descending on rural East Somerset, traffic headaches are inevitable. Delays...

  • Ride Safe - Be Safe Be Seen

    12 Jun 2017

    Hi visibility accessories aren’t mandatory, but the British Horse Society urges riders to treat...

  • Somerset Road Safety
    The Dangers Of Drink & Drug Driving

    5 Jun 2017

    It’s against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, and for very good...

  • Towing Essentials

    22 May 2017

    Good caravanners know you can’t just hitch up and drive. There’s a few mechanical basics...

  • Tyre Safety

    15 May 2017

    At any one time your vehicle’s only contact with the road is through a small area, roughly the...

  • Scooter Safety

    8 May 2017

    Many young people ride scooters on a regular basis and they are a great way to get some exercise...

  • New Speeding Penalties Introduced

    24 Apr 2017

    There’s been a bit of a buzz in the news recently about changes to speeding fines. Increased penalties...

  • 'Up To Speed'

    25 Nov 2013

    Have you just passed your driving test? Do you have concerns about driving on motorways? If the answer...

Print

Did You Know?

Somerset Road Safety also provides support and training for businesses employing fleets of drivers.

Read More

Did You Know?

An endorsement for drink driving remains on your licence for 11 years?

Read More

Resources & Downloads

Somerset Road Safety documents available for download.

Read More

Upcoming Events

View upcoming events and courses recommeneded by Somerset Road Safety.

Read More

Other Resources

Somerset Road Safety aims to reduce collisions and casualties on local roads.

Read More