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15 Nov, 2021/ by National Accident Helpline /News

Towing and tyres: How to stay safe on the road

As the weather changes and new laws around towing are being discussed, we are advising drivers to be cautious on the roads this winter.

The law currently states that those who passed their driving test after 1 January 1997 need to take a test before towing a trailer or caravan. If caught towing without taking the test, drivers could be fined £90 and have 6 points added to their license.

But under the new rules, this is set to change and a person who gained their licence after 1 January 1997 will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM). 

The laws around towing were due to change today, 15th November, but the change in law has now been delayed until later in 2021.

Towing can be dangerous for someone who doesn't have experience, which is why we are urging caution. 

The government is also advising those who will take up this new rule to take extra care, and they have also provided tips which can be found on the official DVLA website. The government advice is to:

  • Make sure that the trailer or caravan is correctly attached to the vehicle
  • Ensure the load is evenly distributed
  • Make allowances for the extra length of the vehicle - particularly when turning or emerging at junctions

With the changing weather, we are also urging Brits to check their tyres are safe for use in potential ice and bad weather. According to ONS data, in 2018 there were 459 road traffic accidents caused by tyre defects. This can be minimised by inspecting your tyres regularly and checking they comply with the legal tread depth. 

Jonathan White, our Legal and Compliance Director, said:

Here at National Accident Helpline, we're urging people to take extra care when they set off on their car journeys at this time of year. We know it's important to keep our tyres in check and oil topped up, but it's also important that everyone is aware of the latest changes.

We're also advising to take extra care if you will be towing a caravan or trailer for the first time. While we understand the alterations, it does mean there will be drivers towing for the first time on our already busy roads.

Our Head of Brand & Customer Experience, Angela Dunwoodie, recently spoke to The Sun about the law changes around towing.

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