The owner of a trailer that came loose when her towbar came off her new second-hand car at about 50mph has shared her story in hope it will prevent others suffering a similar experience
Georgia Rodway was taking her horse Flight and Alfie, who belongs to a friend, to cross-country schooling last Sunday (1 May) when the incident happened.
She told H&H she had only owned the Land Rover Discovery for a week but had taken it to a garage for a full safety check before she towed with it, spending over £2,000 to ensure it was safe.
“It was driving as smooth as a nut but when we were about halfway there, I heard an almighty bang and could see the trailer snaking, and tipping from one side to the other,” she said.
“I instinctively took my foot off the accelerator to try to slow down — it felt like it all happened slowly, but of course it was really fast — then the trailer came to a stop because the breakaway cable had pulled the handbrake on. It turned out the towbar had completely come off the car.”
Georgia’s partner has a van with a towbar so was able to take the horses home.
“The breakaway cable saved their lives,” Georgia said.
“I had to do the towing test and I remember from the training the importance of the breakaway cable. You see people just looping the cable over the towbar but I always clipped it on [to the chasis], and I’m bloody glad I did.”
Georgia has since found out there were some issues relating to the operator use and storage of the towbar on this vehicle; a letter was sent to registered keepers in 2014 offering a reminder of the usage instructions in the vehicle handbook and a free check, and repair if necessary, but as she had only just bought the car, she was unaware of this.
“This was my worst nightmare,” she said. “We were very lucky no one was coming the other way as we ended up in the middle of the road. At one point, the trailer was next to the car as it was snaking so badly and if it hadn’t been for the cable, the trailer would have been down a cliff. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Georgia wanted to share her story to help others.
“I didn’t know it was a detachable towbar but this was a faulty one, it shouldn’t have been able to do that,” she said. “I wanted to share this for educational purposes as I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. Next time, someone else might not be as fortunate.”