Loss of control of the trailer or trailer/tow vehicle combination can result in death or serious injury. The most common causes of loss of control of the trailer are:
Improper sizing the trailer for the tow vehicle, or vice versa.
Excessive Speed: Driving too fast for the conditions.
Failure to adjust driving behavior when towing a trailer.
Overloading and/or improper weight distribution.
Improper or miss-coupling of the trailer to the hitch.
Not maintaining proper tire pressure.
Not keeping lug nuts tight.
IMPROPER SIZING OF THE TRAILER TO THE TOW VEHICLE
Trailers that weigh too much for the towing vehicle can cause stability problems, which can lead to death or serious injury. Furthermore, the additional strain put on the engine and drive-train may lead to serious tow vehicle maintenance problems. For these reasons, the maximum towing capacity of your towing vehicle should not be exceeded.
DRIVING TOO FAST
With ideal road conditions, the maximum recommended speed for safely towing a trailer is 90 Km/h. If you drive too fast, the trailer is more likely to sway, thus increasing the possibility of loss of control. Also, your tires may overheat, thus increasing the possibility of a blowout.
FAILURE TO ADJUST DRIVING BEHAVIOR WHEN TOWING A TRAILER
When towing a trailer, you will have decreased acceleration, increased stopping distance, and increased turning radius (which means you must make wider turns to keep from hitting curbs, vehicles, and anything else that is on the inside corner). Furthermore, the trailer will change the handling characteristics of your towing vehicle, making it more sensitive to steering inputs and more likely to be pushed around in windy conditions or when being passed by large vehicles. In addition, you will need a longer distance to pass, due to slower acceleration and increased length. With this in mind:
Be alert for slippery conditions. You are more likely to be affected by slippery road surfaces when driving a tow vehicle with a trailer, than driving a tow vehicle without a trailer.
Be aware of your trailer height, especially when approaching bridges, roofed areas and around trees.
Check rearview mirrors frequently to observe the trailer and traffic.
Use lower gear when driving down steep or long grades. Use the engine and transmission as a brake. Do not ride the brakes, as they can overheat and become ineffective.
TRAILER NOT PROPERLY COUPLED TO THE TOW BALL
It is critical that the trailer be securely coupled to the tow ball, and that the safety chains are correctly attached. Uncoupling may result in death or serious injury to you and to others.
Proper selection and condition of the coupler and tow ball are essential to safely towing your trailer. A loss of coupling may result in death or serious injury.
Be sure the tow ball size matches the coupler size. Use 50mm tow ball.
Observe the tow ball for wear, corrosion and cracks before coupling. Replace worn, corroded or cracked tow ball components before coupling the trailer to the tow vehicle.
Be sure the tow ball components are tight before coupling the trailer to the tow vehicle.
An improperly coupled trailer can result in death or serious injury. DO NOT MOVE THE TRAILER UNTIL:
the coupler is secured and locked to tow ball;
Remove jockey wheel before towing.
Safety chains are secured to the tow vehicle, and the trailer jack(s) are fully retracted.