When you pull anything behind another vehicle, you create added risk on the road. Trailers can become detached or swerve into other lanes of traffic, leading to serious injuries. While you can’t prevent every accident from happening, you can take some safety precautions to reduce the risks of trailer accidents.
First, as with any piece of equipment you use on the road, take time to ensure the trailer is properly maintained. Make sure wheels and tires are in good working order and that the connection between the trailer and the front vehicle latches properly. This helps keep the trailer in its proper lane.
Next, make sure electrical components on the trailer are working and are appropriate for street use. You can’t just attach anything with wheels to a truck or car and take it out for a spin on the road. Trailers must have working brake and tail lights, for example. The connection between the trailer and the vehicle must work, too, so that the trailer lights come on when you press the vehicle’s brakes.
Some types of trailers might require their own brakes. This is especially true with larger trailers and truck beds, and the requirements for trailer brakes differs by location. Make sure you understand and follow all requirements.
Finally, don’t allow people to ride in a trailer that you are pulling outside of certain well-regulated events such as parades. Pulling people in a trailer is very dangerous and could result in the riders or others getting injured.
If you are injured in a trailer accident, know that you have the same rights as if you were injured in an accident with only standard vehicles. A personal injury law professional can help you understand those rights.
Source: Great American Insurance Group, “Avoid Trailer Accidents,” accessed Sep. 16, 2016