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What are some safety pointers for towing a trailer?

Driving any vehicle requires care and caution. When you are pulling a trailer behind your vehicle, you have to be even more careful. There are some points that you should be aware of before you tow a trailer, especially if this is the first time that you have towed one.

What should I know about braking?

When you are towing a trailer, you need to leave yourself extra distance for stopping. This is because you have to take the extra weight of the trailer into consideration when you are going to stop. This can make it difficult to react when obstacles appear suddenly while you are on the road. You also have to take the possible swaying of the trailer into consideration when you have to stop suddenly.

What should I know about speeds?

You shouldn't try to drive too fast when you are towing a trailer. Going too fast can make you lose control of the trailer, especially in windy conditions. You should also take the condition of the road into account. Driving over bumps or hilly terrain can make keeping control of the vehicle more difficult if you are traveling at higher speeds, so slow down if you are driving in these conditions.

You should make sure that you leave room when you turn and back up. If something happens and someone causes an accident while you are pulling a trailer, don't assume that the accident is your fault. There is a chance that the other driver was the one at fault. If that is the case, you might opt to seek compensation for the injuries you suffered.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Safety Tips for Driving with a Trailer," accessed Oct. 26, 2016

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