Caravanners urged to tow safely this summer
Virgin caravanners are urged to be safe this summer, as their lack of expertise at towing could pose a risk to both themselves and motorists around them.
Research from Nissan, undertaken in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Motorists, has shown that one in five caravan enthusiasts has only just taken up the pastime within the last six months - meaning there's plenty of pitfalls for the inexperienced.
Four of out ten of the 3,000 quizzed, cited by rac.co.uk, admitted that they had no training whatsoever to carry these loads. One of the biggest concerns is that the towing vehicle itself won't be able to cope with the strain of pulling the caravan.
"Choosing the right towing vehicle is fundamental to an enjoyable and safe towing experience," said Nissan 4x4 manager, Rachael Gregory. "The most common error made by towers is in hitching overbearing loads. This is both illegal and dangerous."
Over 40 per cent of caravanners admitted they'd taken risks towing their van before. A quarter said they've had to speed up before because they were being tailgated, for example, while one in ten have swerved out of the way because of someone else's lack of concentration on the road.
Before setting off on any trips to campsites in England, Scotland, Wales or anywhere else, Nissan and the Institute of Advanced Motorists recommend drivers check they are legally allowed to tow on their license, says theautochannel.com.
They also say drivers should know their towing limit as well as the maximum braked and unbraked towing weights. The speed limits for towers is also different: 60mph on motorways and dual carriageways and 50 mph on single carriageways.
Finally drivers should choose get into the appropriate gear as soon as possible, as well as allowing more time and space to accelerate/brake to accommodate for the extra weight.