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Trailer Towing Mistakes Can Lead to Serious Accidents and Injuries

Posted on in Car Accidents

Waukegan Car Accident LawyerSummer time means more vacationers on the roadways of Lake County. You can expect to see more passenger trucks and SUVs pulling trailers of all kinds: boat trailers, camper trailers, horse trailers, and “toy” trailers hauling four-wheelers and dirt bikes. Drivers who are not used to towing a trailer can cause serious car accidents, particularly if they are careless or negligent in understanding the rules of safe trailer towing.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a vehicle towing a trailer, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for assistance. There are many ways the driver of a passenger truck towing a trailer can be found negligent in causing a collision, thereby making you eligible for personal injury compensation.

Towed Trailers Need Special Tires, Require Slower Speeds

Special Trailer tires. Standard car tires have more flexible sidewalls to allow for a more comfortable ride. Trailers, however, require Special Trailer (ST) tires with stiffer sidewalls that help reduce trailer sway. A driver towing a trailer with the wrong type of tires carelessly creates an increased risk of an accident. The trailer may start fishtailing, causing the driver to lose control, possibly tipping the trailer over, and causing a serious accident.

Slower speeds. A speed of no more than 65 mph is recommended for most ST tires. Higher speeds increase the risk of a tire blow-out. Drivers towing a trailer at speeds over 65 mph would likely be ruled at fault if they get into a collision.

Careless Trailering Can Cause Serious Accidents

In addition to choosing the right tires and maintaining a tire-safe speed, drivers towing a trailer must also follow several other safety practices to avoid causing an accident. Failure to follow these safety practices could result in the trailer-tower being found negligent in causing a collision.

Enough truck. The truck must be strong enough to handle the weight of the trailer being towed. If the trailer is too heavy, the driver will have trouble braking and could cause a rear-end collision.

Load balancing. The trailer load must be balanced both side-to-side and front-to-back. A negligently loaded trailer could cause a tire blow-out, steering problems, or braking problems that could cause an accident.

Crosswinds. Towed trailers, particularly taller ones with a higher center of gravity, are susceptible to crosswinds and the draft created by passing semi-trucks. Crosswinds can cause a trailer to fishtail and cause a collision. Drivers towing a trailer need to drive more cautiously in windy conditions and perhaps stay off the road entirely.

Braking. Improper braking techniques, particularly on hills, can also cause dangerous fishtailing.

Consult a Knowledgeable Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck or SUV that was pulling a trailer, consult with an experienced Lake County car accident attorney. Investigation of the accident may well show that the other driver was negligent in failing to follow safe trailering practices. Call the Waukegan office of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303.






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