Towing a trailer is a potentially dangerous undertaking, Hitch It Safe, LLC wants to see drivers take more precautions to stay safe. Towing a trailer comes with many risks for everyone on the road. According to the Auto Channel, some of these hazards come from drivers themselves, who are not educated in proper driving techniques such as how to control and prevent swaying and how to properly back up in addition to understanding the proper way of securing a trailer. Furthermore, many drivers don’t follow the proper safety precautions when towing.
Hitch it Safe, LLC is concerned about these dangers and has joined efforts with Davis Metal Stamping Inc., a US Manufacturer to create a product that enables individuals hauling trailers to do so in a safer and more efficient way. Hitch it Safe, LLC hopes to get this innovative product to as many people as possible, so they can easily mitigate property damage, and prevent death and destruction caused by trailers on the road simply by using an additional safety measure with a product that reduces the risk of accidental separation while towing - a simple product with a huge impact on safety.
Research into how accidents, deaths, and property damage are occurring across the United States was taken from the National Traffic and Safety Administration, and also from the Department of Transportation. What Hitch it Safe, LLC did was look at the different accidents, injuries and property damage and sought out a solution to many of these incidents with the development of a product to solve such problems. At this point, States took notice and began a process of moving to committee. Senators in several states understood these issues and they decided to do something about it. Taking Trailer Safety on our highways to consideration and a simple solution impacted these states and moved then to make a law requiring that a similar device be used to ensure the safety of a trailer.
Customer Profiles, Ltd and Master Lock teamed up to research the safety issues surrounding towing. They compiled their findings in a study called, “Towing Troubles: Danger on America’s Road.” Their research showed that the rising number of sales for towed items such as four-wheelers, campers, boats, horse trailer, as well as small utility trailers that are in everyone's backyard correlates with a rising number of towing related accidents. According to the National Highway Safety Association, there are an average of 57,000 traffic accidents every year that involve trailers being towed, many of which are serious accidents. In 2003, there were 364 fatalities, which was a significant increase from 2002. From 1975 to 2008, the Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 15,211 people died in these trailer towing-related accidents. Worrisome data such as this has prompted some states to implement laws to make towing trailers as safe as possible.
According to USA Today, most accidents occur when a trailer is improperly secured. The trailer then loses its connection to the vehicle it is being towed by and flies away, resulting in a traffic accident. Fortunately, a number of states are taking notice of this issue.
Through research, it was found that the state of Louisiana has instituted a law that requires safety chains or a safety device to be put into place. Oklahoma has a similar law requiring that a safety device or safety chains must be put into place to ensure safe use of trailers. Virginia also requires a locking device that ensures limited separation between the vehicle and the trailer.
Such action is necessary to prevent tragic stories like that of John T Totter. In 2005, he was talking to his 10 year old son and 10 minutes later he was dead when a trailer hauling a three wheel motorcycle came unhitched, slamming into his vehicle killing Trotter, father of two, ending a life of a family man. As reported by Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Mass Communication, Totter will never be able to see his children grow and be a part of their lives - another incident that needs to be rectified.
Everyone needs to be aware of how to stay safe on the road, whether they are renting or owning a trailer and being aware of a solution will certainly decrease this ever-rising problem.
There are a number of precautionary measures that drivers can take to protect themselves and others on the road. The California Department of Motor Vehicles explains that trailers require a thorough safety inspection every time you stop the vehicle. They also stress that it is important to be aware of the different kinds of trailers that are out there, so that you are exercising the proper safety precautions for your trailer type. The three main types of trailers are convention travel trailers such as pop-up campers, fifth-wheel trailers, and trailers that haul cargo such as motorcycles or four-wheelers as well as boat trailers and Horse Trailers.
Brake lights and signals need to be in proper working order, and the hitch needs to be secure and strong. The weight of the trailer and its contents are very important factors as well. Cautious driving must be exercised at all times when on the road, and it’s critical for drivers to remain aware of their speed and the vehicles around them. Drivers can prevent jackknifing when backing up by going slowly and practicing moving in reverse.
Improved laws can also encourage companies and individuals into taking the right steps to keep themselves and others safe from trailer accidents. As more states take further action to implement protective legislation, and with the help of safety devices such as www.HitchitSafe.com, the hope is that towing a trailer can eventually become a safe practice for all. For additional information go to www.HitchitSafe.info
Kristance Harlow contributed to this article.