Avoid sudden changes in direction. If swaying develops, don't brake: just take your foot off the accelerator, stop and recheck your load is properly balanced.
Brake before cornering and reduce cornering speeds. A loaded unbraked trailer has plenty of inertia and has a tendency to push the tow vehicle straight ahead. Avoid braking on slippery surfaces. Drop down to a lower gear on steep descents.
It is illegal to exceed 90 km/h when towing. Keep at least a four-second gap between you and the vehicle ahead and check following traffic regularly in your rear-view mirrors. Pull over when possible to let faster vehicles go past.
When overtaking, make sure you have plenty of clear road ahead as passing takes longer. Don't pull back in too quickly either!
The Light Vehicle Brakes 2002 rule issued by the Ministry of Transport affects towing and the use of trailers. It states:
As a responsible driver, you need to be aware of your licence limitations. Driver licensing requirements can easily be overlooked as the following everyday example illustrates:
A Land-cruiser with an un-laden weight of 2,640kg, a load of 130kg, a boat and trailer with a combined weight of 1,890kg weighs a total of 4,660kg. This is 160kg more than the 4,500kg limit for a Class 1 Driver Licence and subject to a Traffic Offence Notice under Section 37 of the Transport Act (Vehicle and Driver Registration Licensing) which carries a minimum fine of $400.00.
In the event of an accident at this excessive weight, your insurance claim may be declined also.
While there might be a perceived increase in Police enforcement of driver licensing, the Police state that there is no evidence to support this perception and there has been no directive or encouragement from the Office of the Commissioner to do so.
Generally, vehicle manufacturers provide information in the Vehicle Owner's Handbook on safe towing weights (braked and unbraked) for light vehicles.