Many Americans tend to schedule a move for a summer, which means the next two months will see more numbers of passenger vehicles towing trailers on the highways. It’s the right time to draw attention to the fact that every year hundreds of people are killed or seriously injured in accidents caused when unsecured or poorly secured trailers come loose from vehicles.
USA Today has a report on how states around the country are acting to toughen existing laws aimed at preventing runaway trailers. According to federal data, every day one person dies in such accidents across the country. Most of the accidents occur when a poorly secured trailer goes out of control. Such trailers can careen into traffic around the vehicle, causing serious collisions, multi-vehicle accidents, and pileups.
Motorists, who are unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity when the trailer breaks loose, are at serious risk of catastrophic injuries. Nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15,211 people were killed in trailer accidents between 1975 and 2008. According to Ron Melancon, who is a trailer safety activist from Virginia, California has seen major loss of life and property in trailer accidents. Since 1975, 1,706 people have died in trailer accidents in California. Since 1988, 51,806 people have been injured, and 91,268 cars have been destroyed in these accidents. The toll in damage and fatalities has been devastating. During this period of time, the cost of property damage from these accidents has touched $189 million, and the cost of fatalities from these accidents has topped $4 billion. Overall the economic cost of such accidents has topped $4.87 billion.
California is one of several states that require safety chains that prevent a trailer from going out of control when it breaks free from the vehicle. Safety chains in California must have a breaking strength that is equal to or greater than the total weight of the towed material. According to trailer safety activists and Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, the only ways to prevent these accidents is education, awareness, enforcement and enhanced engineering and design that can minimize the impact of human error.