Nervous about towing a trailer? With the right equipment and some practice, towing can be almost as easy as regular driving! No matter how comfortable you are with towing a trailer safety should always be a high priority. Here are some safety tips for towing a trailer:
- Safely connect the trailer to your vehicle. Use the locking mechanism and be sure the lock pin is in place. The lock pin is a small, often overlooked component that has the most important job in the hitch. A trailer connection to a vehicle should also have two chains, crisscrossing in an X-shape, between the vehicle and the trailer. Connect the electrical wires and check the running lights, brake lights and signals.
- Give yourself distance. It takes longer to stop your vehicle when towing a trailer. Allow plenty of stopping distance to avoid sudden braking, maneuvering, or acceleration. It is best to stop gradually whenever possible.
- Be cautious when changing lanes. When towing a trailer, blind spots can increase and you are unable to accelerate as quickly. Be patient when passing other vehicles too. You have to allow for more time and distance.
- Keep an eye out for trailer sway. Crosswinds, large trucks, and high speeds can all cause your trailer to sway. Investing in a sway control unit is one of the best ways to address this problem.
Lock your trailer. A trailer left unattended can easily be stolen while you are away. Use a coupler lock when towing to deter theft.