When towing a trailer, you should allow more room between vehicles before entering into traffic. It will take you longer to reach the speed of the traffic flow because of the extra weight of the trailer. By the same token, it will also take you longer to stop so you should increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
Here are some other things to remember when towing a trailer:
- A trailer must be registered and licensed before it can be used on the road.
- If driving on multi-lane highways, remember that slower-moving vehicles should stay in the right-hand lane.
- Plan your driving. Avoid situations that may require quick lane changes or unexpected stops.
- If traffic builds up behind you, find a safe place to move over and let others pass.
- Your trailer must have working taillights, brake lights and turn signals that are activated from the towing vehicle.
- If you have a ball-and-socket hitch, you will also need safety chains as a secondary means of attachment. Chains should be crossed under the tongue of the trailer and correctly fastened. This applies to all trailers except fifth-wheel trailers.
- If your trailer is equipped with a breakaway emergency supplemental braking system, make sure that the system is properly connected according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Adjust vehicle mirrors to clearly see traffic approaching from behind. You must use extension mirrors if the trailer is wider than the towing vehicle.
The following trailers are required to be equipped with brakes:
- trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating of 910 kilograms (2,000 pounds) or more
- trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than half the weight of the towing unit