Trailers can come in handy. Maybe you used one to help one of your kids move their belongings into a college dorm. If you are bound for a leisurely getaway, you probably piled your luggage into one. Whatever the reason, loading up a trailer can be convenient for transporting your gear.
There are drawbacks, however. People may not realize that driving a vehicle with a trailer means taking special precautions before you get on the road and while you are driving. You always have to be aware of that trailer and operate your vehicle accordingly. According to one expert, “Towing a trailer…requires practice, skill, and an even greater degree of driver attention than what most people are used to.”
If you never towed a trailer before, don’t do it casually. Take time to familiarize yourself with appropriate safety procedures to keep yourself and other drivers safe.
Prior to starting your road trip
Make a checklist for yourself so you don’t overlook anything. Having a spare trailer tire in case you need it, inspecting the trailer’s tires and hitching it to your car or pick-up truck correctly are all necessary. If you are unsure about preliminary steps to take when traveling with a trailer, ask someone experienced so you don’t forget anything.
Driving with a trailer
You’ll get the hang of it, but until it’s second nature to you, consider these suggestions:
- Give yourself some practice hauling the trailer. Get the feel of it. Try doing some typical maneuvers.
- Have another person available to direct you if you need to back up.
- On a highway, travel in the lane on the right.
- Allow ample room when navigating corners.
- Stopping requires a bigger area and more time.
Use care and caution
Learning how to drive with a trailer in tow is important. You can’t take for granted that you will know what to do before you master it. You could also encounter another driver whose carelessness while hauling a trailer causes an accident that affects you. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a crash caused by another driver, find out what next steps are possible to seek compensation.