05/09/2019
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4 things to always check before you tow your caravan (with video)

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If you don’t make basic checks every time you tow your caravan or trailer it’s terrible what can happen.

Three-year-old Freddie Hussey died in 2014 when a trailer detached from a vehicle and hit him while he was walking along a pavement in Bristol with mother. The accident was preventable, and the following Department for Transport report found that half of trailers were unsafe.

You can show your support for greater towing safety on social media by using the hashtag #towsafeforfreddie.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is increasing the checks it makes on caravans and trailers.

From September 2019 the DVSA starts a year long operation to enforce towing safety. The Agency will stop and check thousands of caravans and light trailer (under 3.5 tonnes). If they find dangerous vehicles during their checks they can issue fines of up to £2,500. Furthermore, the Agency can immobilise any dangerous vehicles, issue three points on your licence and ban you from driving.

What are the five checks you need to make before towing?

  1. Check your caravan is coupled correctly to your towbar.
  2. Ensure you have a breakaway cable fitted and attached on your braked caravan or trailer weighing over 750 kg.
  3. Check none of your cables drag on the ground, and they are in good condition.
  4. Have you enough slack in your breakaway cable so the brakes don’t come on by accident.

Laura Great-Rex, head of Enforcement at the DVSA said:

“DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

“By doing these roadside checks we’re helping ensure caravans are safe and legal.

“Make sure that your caravan is satisfactory by doing these simple checks and ensure that you #towsafeforfreddie.”

For more information, watch the DVSA video below:

It’s not just these basic checks you need to make. Read our feature on towing safety here to ensure you are safe, legal and ready to tow your caravan!

Back to "Practical Advice" Category

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