The study undertaken by Nissan suggests that thousands of motorists in the UK could be posing a safety risk by towing caravans with no training.
It is believed that caravanning is growing in popularity once again, with a fifth of the 3,000 respondents surveyed planning on a caravan or camping trip this year.
Unfortunately the research also revealed that 40% of those planning on towing caravans, trailers or boats have had no training.
As a result Nissan have teamed up with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) to give guidance to help novice towers.
Tim Shallcross, Head of Technical Policy for IAM commented:
"The results of the Nissan research highlight a key knowledge gap in towing legislation and safety guidelines. We encourage new and experienced 'towers' to ensure they are correctly informed as to their vehicle's towing capabilities and to follow essential safety guidelines."
IAM and Nissan have made the following recommendations:
- Check that you are legally allowed to tow. Requirements may differ according to when the driving licence was issued and it may be dependent on your car insurance policy.
- Check your vehicle's towing limit. It's equally important to check the maximum braked and unbraked towing weights - as outlined in the vehicle handbook.
- Know towing speed limits. For motorway and dual-carriageway driving the speed limit is set at 60mph. For single carriageways the speed should not exceed 50mph (unless stated otherwise).
- Give yourself more time and space for accelerating and braking. This will help you to avoid accidents whilst on the road and potential car or caravan insurance claims.
- When approaching a hill it's important to select a lower gear in plenty of time. When going uphill this gives you more power. Going down reduces the strain on your vehicle's brakes.