• Allow more time and distance than you would without a trailer between oncoming vehicles and your own before you enter into traffic. It will take you longer to reach the speed of the traffic flow because of the extra weight of the trailer. As well, you need more space to accommodate the added length of the trailer.
  • It will take you longer to stop. Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • If you are driving on a multi-lane highway, remember that slower-moving vehicles should travel in the right lane.
  • Plan your driving. Look well ahead to anticipate and manage potential hazards. Avoid situations that may require quick lane changes or unexpected stops.
  • If traffic builds behind you, find a safe place to stop off the road to allow others to pass.

Turning at intersections

To turn left

  • Approach the turn slowly. When you are close to the intersection, travel near the right edge of your lane without crossing or extending any part of your vehicle or trailer into the next lane. This will give you more room to complete the turn safely.
  • Begin your turn when the front of your vehicle is even with the left side of your intended lane.
  • Glance occasionally in your left outside mirror at the trailer wheels during the turn. The trailer wheels will travel a path that is inside the path of the wheels of your vehicle. This is called off-tracking.
  • To allow for the off-tracking, steer towards the right side of the lane on the road you are entering.
  • As soon as your trailer is through the turn safely, steer the vehicle into the center of your lane.
Turning left when towing a trailer – note path of the vehicle and trailer wheels.
Turning left when towing a trailer – note path of the vehicle and trailer wheels.

Turning right

  • To turn right, reverse these directions. However, If you do not allow for the off-tracking you could make contact with a curb, a parked vehicle or a pedestrian.
Turning right when towing a trailer – note path of the vehicle and trailer wheels.
Turning right when towing a trailer – note path of the vehicle and trailer wheels.

Backing a trailer

Backing a trailer takes practice. At times, to manoeuvre the trailer when reversing you will turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction than you would when reversing without the trailer.

When using a vehicle to back a trailer, do the following:

  • Have someone guide you.
  • If you do not have a guide, walk to the back of the trailer to be sure the path behind is clear.
  • Always reverse at not more than a walking pace.
Position of the towing vehicle's tires for backing a trailer.
Position of the towing vehicle's tires for backing a trailer.

Begin backing by turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction you want to go. Turn the steering wheel right to go left. Turn the steering wheel left to go right.

  • To avoid having your vehicle contact the trailer, only turn the steering whee 1/4 to 1/2 turn. As soon as the trailer begins to turn, return the steering wheel to the normal position. Use only small steering wheel movements to steer the trailer.

When backing a trailer to the right, be aware that your visibility is limited due to a blind spots behind the trailer.

  • Towing a Trailer
  • Towing a trailer