While caravans may not represent much of an obstacle for motorcycle riders, they can still be among the worst-behaved motorists on the road.
Have you ever been stuck behind a slow-moving caravan on a mountain road, but where there is a passing opportunity downhill, it speeds up preventing traffic from passing?
It’s one of several inconsiderate practices by caravaners that must make them the most frustrating and hated motorists on our roads.
While motorcycles can dispense with slow-moving caravans quicker and more safely than other vehicles because of their acceleration abilities, it still forces riders and other motorists to make some rash and dangerous overtaking decisions.
The problem is that there is no special testing for motorists to tow caravans.
If you have an open driver’s licence, you can start towing a caravan and wreak havoc on our roads.
I have reported for caravan magazines and, as a motorcyclist, I understand the wanderlust of caravanners and appreciate that not all are clueless.
In fact, many are motorcycle riders and are courteous and respectful of riders and other traffic. You only haver to look at how many caravans turn up at a Ulysses rally these days or have a motorcycle or scooter attached to the back of the caravan or one inside!
Several caravan manufacturers are aware of this and make special models that accommodate motorcycle storage inside and outside.
However, there needs to be an education program for caravaners to teach them how to behave in a manner that does not frustrate other traffic, especially motorcycle riders.
Here are a few tips for caravaners:
Keep an eye on your wing mirrors and make sure your mirrors are wide enough to see what is behind;
When the road divides into two lanes for a short passing section, the caravan driver should not only pull immediately to the left, but slow down and allow the build-up of trailing traffic to pass;
Give trailing traffic an indication of a clear road ahead by a flick of the indicator switch and maybe a wave of the hand to encourage them to safely overtake;
Don’t pull out into traffic until it has all passed; and
Place a “motorcycle aware driver” sticker on the back of the caravan.
The same goes for motorcycles towing trailers. Be respectful and mindful of other motorists. Pull over for a while. It won’t add much time to your travels!