Towing Etiquette - Applies to All of Us
The primary consideration while driving on our roads, towing a caravan or not, is to maintain the safety of not only you and your passengers but also that of other road users and pedestrians. Everyone has the fundamental right to return home to their loved ones in one piece.
When towing a caravan or trailer, this will require you to drive within your comfort level to the prevailing conditions you are presented with. Let’s face it, doing anything else is a recipe for disaster and downright foolish in the extreme.
On roads where there are many overtaking lanes and rest stops, caravanners should use these opportunities to let others pass safely. That is, in an overtaking lane, keep left ( as traffic regulations dictate ) and maintain a speed that affords as many of those behind you the opportunity to overtake. Where there are infrequent or no-overtaking lanes, and limited opportunities to pass, you should be looking for places to safely pull over off the road to let the traffic go. In the event you find yourself being held up by slower-moving traffic, you might want to consider finding a safe place to pull over and have a break and a cuppa before continuing your journey.
Now, etiquette is a two-way street. Understanding and consideration toward those towing a caravan or trailer are also vital to the safety of all. Getting frustrated because the caravanner in front of you is travelling at a slower speed than you would like is no excuse for silly passing manoeuvres and dangerous driving. Be patient, and your chance will come.
Remember that towing comes with its own challenges and limitations. Vehicles towing caravans and trailers will take longer distances to stop and accelerate up to speed because of the sheer increase in total weight being dealt with. So, pulling in front of a vehicle towing and then suddenly deciding to brake isn’t a wise thing to do. Racing down that merging lane to squeeze in front of that caravan and then put the car on its nose to avoid the vehicle in front is just dumb and unnecessary.
Also, turning corners while towing requires more room to get the axles of the caravan or trailer past the apex of the corner. So, overtaking or undertaking a turning vehicle that is towing is also something that should be given careful consideration and avoided if possible.
In the end, etiquette is having an appreciation and exercising awareness for, the circumstances and needs of other road users that will help us all be a little more patient and less frustrated on the road.
Let’s all keep safe! Happy caravanning!