Drivers urged to prepare before travel
New CCTV footage has been released showing the potential dangers of towing on the motorway, it shows a caravan snaking out of control, narrowly missing other traffic on the M1 in Leicestershire, before overturning and colliding with the safety barrier.
Many motorists dread the motorway in the holiday period due to the influx of caravans and trailers. Incidents involving towed vehicles can cause long delays for other road users as well as distress for anyone directly involved.
Highways Agency Service Delivery Manager Andy Withington said "spring and summer are the peak seasons for towing-related incidents on our roads. Over Easter many people will be hitching up their caravans and trailers for the first time since autumn, so we’re asking them to take time to ensure they’re fit to tow before going on the road. Although high speed incidents involving towing can be serious, the majority of problems we see on our roads are breakdowns which can be avoided with routine checks and maintenance."
Highway Agency advise final maintenance checks
The causes of towing incidents include overloading the caravan or trailer, a mismatch with the towing vehicle, tyres which have burst because they have not been checked or replaced where needed and poor towing technique. The Highways Agency advises anyone towing a caravan or trailer to carry out a final maintenance check before setting off particularly if it has been left over the winter. Also pay particular attention to the condition and pressure of the tyres on both the towed and towing vehicle and check that loads in the towed and towing vehicle are secure and the weight is evenly distributed and is not excessive. For motorists new to towing be aware of how towing affects the vehicle’s performance particularly braking distances and use extended mirrors when towing wider trailers, such as caravans, to ensure clear and legal visibility of the trailer and of other vehicles on the road. Also check you have an appropriate driving licence for the vehicle and trailer combination.
Be safe this holiday weekend and take precautions before towing to avoid a stressful journey. Highways Agency traffic officers will be at service stations across England this weekend sharing advice on safe towing and journey planning, as well as being on hand to deal with any incidents on the motorway network.