The Caravan Club
The Caravan Club is a mutual organisation run for the benefit of the 850,000 caravanners, motor caravanners and trailer tent owners it represents. The core of the business is the provision of a network of sites providing a choice of some 3,000 locations in the UK. The Caravan Club provides a range of member benefits including a specialist insurance scheme, vehicle breakdown and recovery service, training courses, and technical and legal help lines.
The Caravan Club is committed to promoting road safety to its one million members, who are by definition motorists.
The Club estimates that these drivers will cover over 487 million miles while caravanning in the UK this year. This is in addition to mileage when driving without a caravan in tow, and when touring in continental Europe.
While continuing to build on its original Charter commitments which were focused on encouraging its members to counter driver fatigue by taking regular journey breaks, it will build on initiatives for joint working and alliances with complementary road safety-aware organisations. These include the FIA and its member clubs, particularly across Europe; The Highways Agency (joint working on a number of road safety initiatives); the UK Department for Transport's 'Think!' road safety campaigns; police authorities; and through active membership of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).
Caravanners are statistically safe drivers but The Caravan Club has a duty of care to inform and remind them:
1. We will provide and promote better access to the Club's dedicated technical information service, which advises on loading/stability issues and safe matching of towcar and caravan through The Caravan Club website at www.caravanclub.co.uk
2. We will produce regular road safety features in The Caravan Club Magazine - circulation 375,000 (Audit Bureau of Circulation audited).
3. We will promote driver safety through road awareness and actively encouraging considerate driving behaviour during our caravanning and motor caravanning courses attended annually by over 2,000 drivers (including those who tow other trailers such as boats, horseboxes). Driver attitude has priority in course design and delivery.
4. Promoting safe and eco-driving.
The Caravan Club is committed to ongoing research into caravan stability when towing, which is undertaken by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath. Further work with leading UK manufacturer, Bailey of Bristol, and the university, is leading to the development of practical tools to demonstrate stability issues. The communication of these issues to caravanners by demonstrations at key consumer exhibitions and participation in online surveys on The Caravan Club website is a critical aspect of this initiative and will help promote safe and ecological driving.
Driver fatigue is a recognised problem area (accounting for as many as 20% of accidents on long journeys according to UK Government statistics). The Caravan Club will proactively make its nationwide membership (850,000) and staff aware of the dangers of driver fatigue, not only for long journeys when towing a caravan, or driving a motor caravan, but also when they or their families are behind the wheel at other times. The Club will encourage a shift in attitude towards the journey being an integral part of the holiday. It will encourage members to take breaks by publicising (through The Caravan Club Magazine, the website and elsewhere) holiday routes with safe rest areas, and suggestions for overnight stops, when they will have an opportunity to enjoy the regions they are travelling through.
The Caravan Club is also committed to promoting road safety in its programme of practical caravanning courses run throughout the UK. Caravanners are statistically safe and responsible drivers (less than 0.07% of UK accidents where there is a casualty, involve a car towing a caravan). The Caravan Club will train every year over 1,600 drivers through its comprehensive programme of practical caravanning and caravan manoeuvring courses. We will increase the road safety/road awareness component of the syllabus to more actively promote considerate driving behaviour and attitude. Safer driving/towing will be communicated through technical leaflets, website, Club Magazine, and the training course handbooks. In addition advice on safe loading and outfit matching will be more actively promoted to Members as well as other caravanners and motor caravanners through a range of nationwide media.
The Club will work with the UK Government's Department for Transport on its Think! campaigns to promote road safety awareness through a range of media, and brand partners.