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Press Release - 07 December 2007

Online game created to stop dangerously-loaded caravans

A new web-based game has been created that could help caravan owners avoid loading their vehicles in a dangerous way.

A badly loaded caravan could, at high speed, swing across the road when a car has to swerve or brake, and the new game teaches owners how to stack their loads safely.

There are over 500,000 caravans on the UK roads and occasionally high-speed accidents occur, generally when they travel down gradual hills on the motorway.

The game was developed by Dr Jos Darling and Chris Lamming, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, with sponsorship from Bailey Caravans of Bristol.

Dr Darling has been investigating the engineering causes of ‘snaking’ accidents, as they are known, and has found that the best way of loading was to place heavy items in the centre of the caravan, and not at both ends, as this increased the inertia of the caravan and made it more difficult to respond to sudden swerves.

The web-based game can be found by using the links in Related Links. The Bailey’s website also has a video of Dr Darling demonstrating the perils of poor loading using a model.

“While somewhat unloved by some of the UK motoring public, there are half a million caravans on the road and some are not loaded properly," said Dr Darling.

“That’s why this web-based game is so important in educating the public and so help avoid accidents and the associated inconvenience of a blocked motorway.”

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