How to prevent a trailer from fishtailing / snaking / jacknifing
What is jackknifing?
Driving with a trailer is higher risk than without, and occurs when the trailer starts moving from side to side.
The causes of a “snaking” or jacknifing trailer can be heavy winds, especially with bigger trailers and caravans, uncontrolled speed
Unevenly distributed weight in the trailer
Incorrect balancing on the trailer
Trailers that start fish-tailing on the road can be dangerous and even flip the vehicle causing a serious and possibly fatal accident.
Avoid jacknifing a trailer:
There are two essential factors when trying to avoid a jacknifed trailer.
These are speed and packing of the trailer.
Packing a trailer to prevent jacknifing:
Being aware of your speed while driving with a trailer to prevent jacknifing:
When the trailer starts to sway/swing from side to side:
Take your foot off the accelerator
Never slam on brakes once passing a vehicle to prevent them rear ending yourself and the trailer.
If the trailer starts to snake along the road, don’t put the brakes on.
Put on the hazard lights – ask person in the passenger seat to do this if you have a companion
Keep steering in a straight line
Move into the slow lane where possible once trailer has stabilised