Towing a car – tips and rules for towing

Towing rules

Both parties involved in the towing mission must remember the following:

  • An ‘On Tow’ sign must be placed at the back of the vehicle being towed
  • When the vehicles are attached solely by a rope or chain, the maximum distance allowed between the vehicles is 4.5 metres
  • If the distance between the two vehicles exceeds 1.5 metres, the rope or chain must be clearly visible within a reasonable distance from either side to other road users, by tying a coloured flapping cloth in the middle, for example
  • The person in the broken down vehicle must be a qualified driver
  • If it’s dark, the broken down vehicle must have its lights on as it would under normal circumstances.

Tips for the towing driver

To keep both drivers safe, it is essential to stay below 15 mph and pull away gently with the clutch. Abruptly yanking on the tow rope can snap or weaken it, so be sure to start slowly. In addition, tap your brakes lightly instead of slamming them when you need to slow down unexpectedly since that’ll give enough warning for the towed driver to take action right away without risking a break in their rope.

Make sure to give the car being towed plenty of notice and avoid any significant changes or maneuvers, as it is difficult for the driver behind you to steer and brake. Additionally, constantly check your mirrors while driving in order to assure that everything looks normal. Pay special attention to vehicle temperature and oil pressure gauges – if they change suddenly there could be a problem so pull over immediately.

Tips for the driver being towed

Before you start your journey, don’t forget to switch the ignition into the ‘on’ position. This will disengage any steering locks and make it simpler for you to drive the broken-down car. To ensure a smooth ride, actively steer and brake simultaneously with that of the tow vehicle while keeping some stress in the rope or pole by lightly applying pressure on brakes – all this so as to reduce jerking movements along your way.

Stay as alert as you would if you were driving, paying particular attention to the towing car’s brake lights and indicators so you have as much notice as possible of what’s coming up.