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Ignorance Of Towing Laws
Ignorance Of Towing Laws
Even the largest domestic vehicles, like a pick-up truck or a van, aren’t always big enough for your driving needs. When you need to add extra capacity to your vehicle, whether it’s space for a horse, extra storage, or even somewhere that doubles as a home on wheels, the answer is simple: tow another structure behind your existing vehicle.
Towing is popular with many drivers, but it does come with responsibility. The DVLA has laws around towing, and drivers need to be aware of them and compliant at all times.
While this might seem obvious,
even two years after a major change in towing laws was implemented, only 14% of respondents to a recent survey were aware of the developments. The law now allows those who passed their driving test from after January 1997 can tow trailers of up to 3,500kg MAM without undertaking additional training.
Just because less training is now required, that doesn’t mean that towing isn’t still a dangerous pastime or that it isn’t a privilege that we need to take very seriously. Driver ignorance could potentially be fatal, especially when you’re towing a heavy trailer or caravan.
Here are some of the many reasons why this ignorance could be dangerous and how drivers can brush up on their knowledge before they hitch up their trailers.
Drivers Might Be Making Mistakes When Hitching-Ignorance Of Towing Laws
If drivers are ignorant of basic towing laws, then it begs the question: What else don’t they know about towing trailers or caravans? One of the most significant areas where they could be going wrong from the start is hitching their trailer to their vehicle.
Having properly fitted tow bars that are attached by an expert fitter and used correctly is crucial for ensuring that the trailer is properly secured from the start of the journey. Incorrectly hitching a trailer to a vehicle can result in
detachment while driving. This not only endangers the occupants of the towing vehicle but also poses a significant risk to other road users, so drivers need to be aware of how to do this correctly.
It Might Mean Poor Driving Etiquette-Ignorance Of Towing Laws
Ignorance of towing laws can lead to improper use of overtaking lanes and slow lanes, causing frustration among other drivers and increasing the likelihood of road rage incidents. The law dictates how drivers should behave when they have a trailer, and if they don’t understand one aspect of it, they probably won’t grasp driving etiquette when towing a trailer or caravan.
This can lead to problems with other drivers and potential dangers. One area that could cause significant problems is overtaking others and turning correctly around other drivers when towing a trailer.
Towing a trailer affects visibility and manoeuvrability, so not having proper overtaking and turning techniques can lead to collisions, especially in tight spaces or when attempting manoeuvres without a clear understanding of the trailer’s path.
Proper Maintenance Might Not Be Undertaken
Drivers who don’t understand the law might not be interested in maintaining and caring for their vehicles, tow bars, and trailers effectively. Towing puts additional strain on all the vehicle’s components.
Ignoring maintenance requirements can result in mechanical failures while on the road, leading to accidents or breakdowns, so drivers need to be aware of these issues and manage them effectively. Drivers who view towing as a simple experience might not maintain their vehicles correctly when towing.
Ignorance Could Lead To A Lack Of Attention When Towing
Any vehicle can be challenging to drive, but when your car has an extra piece attached at the back that is long and heavy, there are additional issues that you need to bear in mind. As such, towing a trailer requires heightened awareness of the road and surroundings.
Not knowing how the trailer affects blind spots, turning radius, and overall vehicle length can lead to accidents or issues, especially in tight urban areas with narrow streets. Also, towing often comes at a reduced speed limits on certain roads. Ignoring these limits can lead to dangerous situations, as trailers require more time to slow down or stop safely. As a result, driver error could cause serious problems for road users.
What You Can Do To Stay Up-To-Date-Ignorance Of Towing Laws
Whether you’re a caravan owner, a horse transporter, or you regularly use a trailer for your work, you need to understand the laws and stay up-to-date with them. To make sure that you always know about changes to the law when towing or any other aspect of driving, follow the DVLA’s blog for regular updates.
You can also make the most of sites like ours
to understand how these new rules will affect you and what you can do to ensure your compliance at all times. Being proactive will make you a better driver and ensure that you can navigate the UK’s roads safely and effectively.
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