A survey of 508 caravan owners has revealed 10% have carried a passenger in their tourer while it’s being towed, despite this dangerous practice being illegal and potentially resulting in a £2,500 fine, three points or a driving ban.

The study, conducted by Ripe Insurance, saw one in 10 admit to towing with a child in their tourer, with 12% doing so with an adult.

Under UK law, it is illegal for a passenger to be in a caravan while it is being towed, because the extra weight has a destabilising effect on the tourer, making accidents more likely to occur.

However, the survey also highlighted that there was a knowledge gap for caravanners, with only 23% aware that towing with an adult in the tourer was illegal. Similarly, only 11% knew that carrying a child when towing could result in a fine.

This follows on from the recent warning Rips issued to caravanners over the ‘common insurance mistake’ that could cost them up to £4,000.

John Woosey, Founder of Ripe Caravan Insurance, commented: “While it may be tempting to let passengers ride in your caravan while towing it on the road, it’s important to remember that caravans are not designed to be crash-proof, so the person is likely to suffer serious injury in the event of a collision. Aside from the safety implications, a possible fine of £2,500, points and a driving ban is certainly not worth running the risk. We strongly advise all caravanners to read up on the regulations before hitting the road, to avoid potentially ruining a well-deserved trip away.”

Having a good set of mirrors is another aspect that can help you stay safe on the road – if you need help finding a pair, take a look at our guide to the best caravan towing mirrors.

Another recent warning came from the Office for Product Safety and Standards, who have urged caravanners to urgently check their gas hobs, after certain models were found to be at risk of failing, potentially causing a gas leak or fire.

Image: Tim Andrew

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