Ideally, when your car breaks down, you will contact a professional towing service to get your vehicle from one location to another. However, if money is an issue, you'll be glad to know that your friend can legally tow your car, providing they follow the rules. This guide will help you get your car from A to B safely.
Check Your Car
Before you begin, you need to check that your vehicle can be towed without it incurring damage. Depending on the design and type of car you own, you may need to be towed using a tilt-tray.
Check Your State's Rules
Check the rules of your state before you get a friend to tow your car. There may be specific requirements for the driver of the vehicle performing the tow. Additionally, there may be specific rules relating to lighting, warning signs and towing mass limits for a vehicle towing another car. It's important to be aware of these rules so that your friend does not break the law and incur a penalty.
General Rules to Adhere to When Towing or Being Towed
Your vehicle must have fully working brakes and steering to be towed using a rope or line.
A car being towed will need to have a driver in situ -- somebody will need to be able to steer your car and brake when needed.
While you're being towed, maintain a distance of no more than 4 m between your car and the towing vehicle.
If your towline is longer than 2 metres, you'll need to attach a brightly coloured flag or piece of material to it. This can be rectangular or square shaped and should be a minimum of 30 cm long along two adjacent sides. This flag is used as a warning sign to alert people to the presence of the tow-rope and must be attached to the middle of it. It should be substantial enough to be seen from at least 100m away. If your car's being towed at night, a light must be shone on the warning flag to ensure it's visible from the 100m distance.
When towing a car at night or in poor visibility weather conditions, ensure that the towed car has working rear lights. If the lights are not working, you can use portable rear lights. These will need to be powerful enough to be seen from a minimum of 200 m away.