RAA is urging caravan drivers to keep safety front of mind, as new figures reveal the increased risks associated with caravan towing.
Crash data analysed by RAA shows that casualty crashes involving caravans are significantly more likely to be roll-over or head-on collisions when compared to crashes involving only other vehicles.
The figures show that, in the past decade, casualty crashes in South Australia were three times more likely to be roll-over crashes (one in four versus one in 13), and five times more likely to be head-on (one in eight versus one in 40), when a caravan is involved.
RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said caravan drivers heading away should be careful not to get complacent with their caravan safety skills and knowledge.
“By their nature, caravanners are more likely to be travelling on regional and high-speed roads, so drivers should be aware of the additional risks associated when driving in these conditions when towing or driving a motorhome,” Mr Mountain said.
“Caravan weights are a big factor and often overlooked.”
“It’s important to find out if your vehicle and caravan combination comply with towing capacity regulations.
“Exceeding these limits can affect stability and vehicle control, so drivers should always make sure that the caravan is correctly set up and that neither the caravan or the tow vehicle weights exceed the manufacturer’s specifications.”
Mr Mountain said new caravan drivers should consider taking a towing course.
“RAA encourages drivers who have not towed anything larger than a small trailer to undertake a course in towing, which should include attaching and disconnecting a caravan or trailer safely, safe driving while towing and reversing using mirrors or guidance.”
“Drivers can often be hesitant to spend money on a towing course, but when you look at how much they cost in comparison to the caravan you’ve purchased, it’s a worthy investment in the safety of yourself and your vehicle.”
Drivers looking to take a towing refresher course can do so through RAA by enquiring here.