Who’s responsible for the runaway trailer?

ELI5: Negligence

Who’s Responsible for the Runaway Trailer?

Hopefully, you have never been unlucky enough to see a trailer start to sway while traveling at freeway speeds. If you have never seen this in person, your chances of seeing it now are probably better than ever. After the beginning of the pandemic, trailer sales skyrocketed. What better way to social distance than to head to the mountains to camp? What that means though is that there are lots of trailers on the road, some of which are being driven by first-timers.

What causes a trailer to sway and—even worse—come loose from the vehicle towing it? Minor mistakes can lead to catastrophe and result in fatal crashes involving innocent drivers. Who is liable when that happens? You might be surprised to know that hundreds of accidents per year are caused when a trailer comes unhitched or starts to sway. It doesn’t have to be unhitched to cause a crash.

Let’s start with some basic reasons a trailer comes loose.

-Forgetting the pin. A standard hitch for a trailer comes with a hitch pin in addition to the ball and socket it attaches to. This is an important safety measure. Forgetting it can result in the trailer dislodging from the towing vehicle.

-If the weight of the trailer is over the legal limit. Did you know that just because the truck can pull it, doesn’t mean it’s legal? State law determines the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is a measurement of how much weight is considered safe for you to tow. If you don’t know what your weight is, you can schedule an inspection through the Department of Transportation to find out.

-If the length of the trailer is over the maximum. In addition to the weight, the length of the trailer also has a limit for safety reasons. The length of the truck and the trailer combined have a maximum length restriction. If something is too long, all sorts of problems can potentially arise.

-Lack of maintenance. This applies to both the tow vehicle and the trailer. Keeping up on the maintenance of the truck or SUV as well as the boat or trailer being pulled is equally important.

After recent law changes in the state of Utah regarding vehicle inspections, it is now the responsibility of the vehicle owner to ensure safety measures are followed. Law enforcement can, however, conduct a vehicle inspection, roadside. This can be done if the vehicle is pulled over. Or even worse, at the scene of a crash.  At this point, the damage may have already been done.

We all want a safe and happy summer, exploring the mountains and gazing at the stars. But due to the negligence of someone else, the outcome could be very different and result in ambulance transport, ICU stays, incredible medical bills, or loss of life. We understand this and are prepared to represent you in recovering those losses. Moxie Law Group is dedicated to helping you. We fight to get maximum compensation, every time. Ask today how our personal injury attorneys can help. Call 833-MOXIE4U.

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