PRE-TOWING SAFETY CHECK
• Check that your vehicle remains level when a loaded or unloaded trailer is hitched. Do not drive if the vehicle has an abnormal nose-up or nose-down condition, and check for improper tongue load, overload, worn suspension or other possible causes.
• Make sure the trailer cargo is securely loaded so that it cannot shift.
• Check that your rear view mirrors conform to any applicable federal, state/ provincial or local regulations. If not, install the rear view mirrors required for towing purpose.
When towing a trailer, your vehicle will handle differently than when not towing. The three main causes of vehicle-trailer accidents are driver error, excessive speed and improper trailer loading. Keep these in mind when towing:
• Before starting out, check operation of the lights and all vehicle- trailer connections. After driving a short distance, stop and recheck the lights and connections. Before actually towing a trailer, practice turning, stopping and backing with a trailer in an area away from traffic until you learn the feel.
• Because stopping distance may be increased, vehicle-to-vehicle distance should be increased when towing a trailer. For each 16 km/h (10 mph) of speed, allow at least one vehicle and trailer length between you and the vehicle ahead. Avoid sudden braking as you may skid, resulting in jackknifing and loss of control. This is especially true on wet or slippery surfaces.
• Avoid jerky starts or sudden acceleration.
• Avoid jerky steering and sharp turns. The trailer could hit your vehicle in a tight turn. Slow down before making a turn to avoid the necessity of sudden braking.
• Backing with a trailer is difficult and requires practice. Grip the bottom of the steering wheel and move your hand to the left to move the trailer to the left. Move your hand to the right to move the trailer to the right. (This procedure is generally opposite to that when backing without a trailer.) Also, just turn the steering wheel a little at a time, avoiding sharp or prolonged turning. Have someone guide you when backing to reduce the risk of an accident.
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