Synchronize Your Brakes

Making sure your brakes are synchronized and working properly will put a stop to any concerns over runaway trailer-and-SUV combinations.

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Just as the lighting systems on both the tow vehicle and the trailer need to operate simultaneously, so do the braking systems. First off, most state laws require that towed vehicles need to have separate braking systems. This prevents the tow vehicle from having to do all the work when it's time to put on the brakes.

Of course, it's also good to make sure that the brakes are working properly. Poorly functioning brakes could spell disaster on the road, and if they ever failed, the added weight from the cargo would only make a collision that much more dangerous. Give yourself plenty of extra room for braking. Avoiding heavy braking will reduce most wear and tear -- applying your foot gently to the brake is the best method.

Another way to cut the risk of an accident is to watch your speed. To read about speed considerations while towing, see the next page.