Although many people are getting their COVID vaccines and numbers are slowly beginning to come down, the medical community is still advising people to be cautious as states begin to lift their restrictions. As people begin planning their summer vacations around these recommendations, many are taking to the roads instead of the skies. This will mean more passenger vehicles towing all kinds of trailers: boat, camper, horse, and toy trailers will all be sharing our roads. The problem is that there are some of these drivers who are not familiar with towing trailers and this can often lead to serious car crashes.
If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver towing a trailer, a Virginia Beach accident attorney can help you get the damages you deserve. There are certain requirements that towing trailers have and a driver who fails to adhere to these requirements and causes an accident could be deemed negligent under North Carolina injury law.
One of these requirements is the tires the vehicle should have. The standard vehicle tire has a more flexible sidewall. This is to allow for a more comfortable ride for occupants in the vehicle. But vehicles towing trailers should have Special Trailer (ST) tires. These tires have a much stiffer sideway to help minimize trailer sway. If a driver of a vehicle is towing a trailer without the correct tires, he or she is putting everyone on the road at risk of serious injury. For example, the trailer can start to fishtail. This can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in the trailer flipping over and causing a bad crash with any vehicles close by.
It is also imperative that the driver towing the trailer travel at lower speeds. Even with the ST tires, any traveling at over 65 mph greatly increases the risk of tire blow-outs.
There are other safety precautions that anyone towing a trailer should follow in order to help prevent accidents.
- Make sure the vehicle towing the trailer is strong enough to handle the weight of the trailer combined with the weight of whatever is in the trailer. A trailer that is too heavy means the driver will likely have issues with braking in time.
- Be aware of the proper braking techniques when towing a trailer. No braking correctly can cause the trailer to begin fishtailing.
- Make sure the load in the trailer is balanced evenly on both front to back and side to side. If the load is uneven, a driver could have trouble steering, trouble braking, or there could be a tire blow-out.
- Be aware of any crosswinds and drafts that are created by semi- and tractor-trailers. These crosswinds can cause a trailer to begin fishtailing and crash. If it is windy, consider keeping the trailer off the road and travel once the winds have died down.
Have You Been Injured?
If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver towing a trailer, contact a Virginia Beach car accident attorney to find out what damages you may be able to pursue in a car accident claim.
The Virginia personal injury attorneys from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have successfully advocated for many car accident victims in obtaining the financial compensation they deserved, including medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses their injuries have caused. Call our office today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.