The term accompanying vehicle is used in the area of heavy-load transports. It is used for an equipped vehicle that accompanies and secures the heavy-load transport. This can be in front to ensure the availability of the required driving width or in the back to warn following traffic or to indicate an overtaking ban. Accompanying vehicles can replace police escorts.
These vehicles have special equipment such as roadblock material, fire extinguishers, flashing lights, rotating beacon and controllable variable message sign systems. In Germany, the traffic authorities provide information for route legs on how many accompanying vehicles are necessary and which variable message sign system (pointing to the back, the front or the side) they need to be equipped with.
In general, the vehicle is necessary on motorways and roads similar to motorways if the vehicle is wider than 3.75 metres. On other roads, it is necessary for a width of 3.01 to 3.50 metres. For a width of 3.50 to 4.50 metres, accompanying vehicles with a variable message sign system are required by law.