How to Drive Safely with a Trailer — 5 Proficient Tips

truck hitches

Towing a trailer is a lot more complicated than many drivers believe. Professional drivers are known to lose control of their trailers while taking turns or reversing.

It is really important to know the basics of towing a trailer, before actually hitting the road with the extra weight. It takes a lot of experience for things to come together.

Here are some tips that will help you on the road when you are driving a towed trailer:

Know your weight

The most important thing about your safety is the amount of weight you can actually carry with your vehicle. There are two types of weights that you should be considered about, GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and tongue weight.

GVWR is the max weight that your vehicle can pull. It is generally mentioned on the vehicle door, as it is a requirement of the law. This weight includes everything, from the weight of your trailer to the passengers and the cargo you are carrying in the trunk.

Tongue weight on the other hand is the weight the trailer puts on the hitch. The tongue weight should be within 10% range of the total trailer weight. If the weight is more than 10%, it will become difficult to steer, and if the weight is too less, it will make the trailer sway.

Proper Attachments

Never assume that the hitch is attached securely once it is put in place. Always double check to be sure.

Check the safety chains, lights as well as the plates. If the hitch isn’t attached in a secure way, it could make your trailer lose while driving, leading to a serious accident.

Keep Extra Distance

If you are driving a normal vehicle without a trailer attached to it, then you should follow the two-second rule for maintaining a distance between you and the car in front of you. The two second rule states that you should have at least two seconds to respond if the car in front of you suddenly halts.

But if you are driving a vehicle with a trailer attached to it, then you must keep extra distance between you and the car in front of you, because it towed vehicles take longer to slow down.

Wider Turns

Because a towed trailer significantly increases the length of your vehicle, you should take wider turns. This will save you from hitting a car or an object on the side of the road.

Reversing

Reversing becomes much more like parking when a trailer is towed behind you. Reverse too sharply or in one direction, and the trailer could hit your vehicle. It could even detach if the impact is too sudden.

Therefore, reverse by making several adjustments and ensure that the trailer is moving in the right direction.

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