Safe Hitching to Prevent Car Accidents and Injury (No – Not THAT Hitching!)

Throughout the summer, families will be hitching boats to trucks, carrying bikes and ATVs, attaching trailers and driving RVs across the country. In addition to carrying an extra load, many of these travelers will be traveling at high speeds for long distances. The potential for accidents can be severe when a trailer is not properly hitched to a car or truck. If a trailer or hitch becomes loose or detaches, the consequences can be deadly.

For boaters and other outdoor enthusiasts, carrying proper equipment may be necessary. However, it is important to properly load and hitch a trailer. Our Charleston accident attorneys are experienced in handling injury cases involving catastrophic highway accidents. We are dedicated to raising awareness around safety issues to prevent future accidents and injuries on North and South Carolina highways.

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Towing your trailer safety requires taking a proactive approach. State DMVs as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are great resources to successfully and safely hitch a trailer. You should always perform a safety inspection before each trip. Remember to make sure that the pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is intact. The hitch coupler should be secured and the spring bar hinges should be tight with safety clips in place. Safety chains should be properly attached and electrical plugs properly installed.

Remember that there are unique concerns when pulling a trailer. There are weight considerations and the tow vehicle must be a proper match for the trailer. You must also invest in proper equipment so that the trailer and hitch can perform successfully, even under extremely hot, windy, or rainy climates. A towing vehicle should have enough power to climb a steep grade without excessive speeds.

A load-distributing hitch may be used for heavier models, including utility trailers, boat trailers and travel trailers. These require special equipment to distribute the load to all axles of the towing vehicle. A trailer may be used for pulling a motorcycle, tent, cargo, a boat, or other heavy object or machinery. Remember that there are a number of couplings to choose between the towing vehicle and the trailer depending on your needs. Regardless, your coupling should be non-slip, non-loosing and non-binding. It should also be easy to hook and unhook and should be free moving.

If you are unfamiliar with hitching, you may want to consult with an expert before hitting the road to make sure that your vehicle is safe. You can find a public scale to weigh your boat or load it if you are uncertain whether your equipment or trailer is suitable for your needs. Trailers must be weighed to ensure that loads are distributed to the front and the rear, as well as to the sides. Remember that passengers are not allowed to ride in a trailer coach while it is being pulled. Any riders in a camper must be able to exit from an unlocked door that can be opened from the inside.

State troopers who have seen grave accidents result from improper hitching advise drivers using a hitch take the extra time to make sure that everything is properly attached. Checking that your hitch is secure could not only prevent an accident, it could save lives.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Deadly Pedestrian Accident Raises Concerns About Safety, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 28, 2013

Elderly at High Risk of North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 29, 2013

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