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Calls for stricter towbar laws after fatality

NOTE: This is a worldwide Issue.
These Videos All Have the Same Issue... but nobody does anything...


NO STANDARDS are in place for any tow bar or safety chains for any trailer just one pound under 3,000 pounds.

NO inspections on trailers under 3,000 pounds in most of the world.

Anybody can build one and nobody has a standard.

The questions must be asked... why?

It is all because of profit. If a company spends resources building the best trailer tow bar and it cost X... and the consumer does not understand and see's Trailer Tow Bar "Y" for much less then can you take a guess what the consumer will buy.

This is the fundamental issue we face. Just like a Utility Trailer that cost $1,000 but it has the best of everything and is tested to last....

If a company like in this example "Carry On Trailers" can produce a trailer for $499 because it uses no reflector tape... and does not encase the wires in a plastic tube and uses a lower grade of metal then you as a consumer will buy the cheaper trailer.

In the above example "Carry On Trailers" lobbied to destroy the "Virginia Reflector Tape Law" along with U Haul because it cost $10.00 to comply and in the process has pushed my family in financial ruin.

They will simply out spend a noble cause.

What about Safety Chains?

Calls for stricter towbar laws after fatality

Thu, 20 Aug 2009 6:28p.m.

By Adam Ray

A coroner has called for mandatory guidelines to improve the safety of towbars after a New Plymouth father was killed when a boat and trailer came loose.

The coroner's recommendations have won the support of the man's widow and the towbar industry itself.

Donovan Shelver was killed as he drove home from cricket practice - his car was hit by a trailer carrying a boat after its snapped.

His widow says towbar safety standards just aren't tough enough.

"It to my mind is idiotic that anybody can fit a towbar even if manufactured elsewhere you can come home and fit it...there should be some rules around that," says Kate Shelver.

A coroner who examined Shelver's death has also criticised towbar safety standards.

They're voluntary at the moment, and the coroner says they should be mandatory with random inspections of manufacturers.

Shelver's death is one of dozens involving light trailers in recent years.

Transport Minstry figures show eight people were killed and thirty nine injured from crashes with light trailers last year.

In the four years before that, an average of six people were killed.

Towbar makers say more than half of New Zealand cars have them - one of the highest rates in the world - so there's an urgent need for tougher rules

"There a lot of towing done so it means there's a lot of opportunity for failure and risk to the innocent New Zealand motorist," says John Nash of Best Bars.

The industry says drivers can lower the risks by dealing with recognised firms and looking for safety labels and they warn against buying second hand towbars without knowing their history.

"And so the towbar might be fitted correctly but its been cracked or fractured in a previous accident," says John Delacey of North Shore Towbars.

The government told 3 News that it's now reviewing the coroner's report and his call for compulsory standards.

3 News

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wis. man dies in I-65 accident... RV Tire Blowout


Wis. man dies in I-65 accident

By the Daily News
Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:02 AM CDT

A Wisconsin man died Friday evening following a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 65 in Warren County.

Kentucky State Police said Donald Larsen, 77, of New London, Wis., was driving a 1996 recreational vehicle when the left front tire of the vehicle failed.

He lost control and struck the barrier wall near the 28-mile marker.

Larsen was transported to The Medical Center with minor injuries, but due to complications from his prior medical history he was later pronounced dead by the Warren County Coroner. Investigation is ongoing.

    Why is this happening????

    Web Site
    What happens when a MANUFACTURED product is
    produced in violation of FMVSS108. These utility trailers more often have non-working tailights
    and the gate blocks the working tailights on the car or truck pulling it. HOW CAN IT BE YOUR FALUT IF YOU CAN’T SEE THE LIGHTS. In addition they also come unhiched and kill over 400 people a year. Why does the Federal Government and the Inusrance industry ignore this problem? Why paint the trailer black????? How can you see it if the lights do not work. In my state we are the only state to require REFLECTOR TAPE ON THE BACK BUT THE INDUSTRY TRIED TO KILL MY LAW.

    Dear Political Leaders and our Government:

    Do you still think we do not have a problem here???

    What is it going to take for you to make a difference??????
    Go to this link and click the video….. Our House of Delegates
    including Delegate
    Pollard think that voting 98-to zero to kill my law will do the trick.

    Then why do we accept this types of problems??? It happens at least
    once a day in this country.

    Ron J. Melancon

    Please go to my web site For more on this problem.

    Please see my video at //

    Help!! We have a problem here and I want to make a difference
    Dear Concerned:

    Please take a moment to view my video tape. You may open using any media player.
    Web site
    As you view the video please ask yourselves these questions.

    does these utility tralers keep comming unhiched?
    Why are they painted black?
    Why are they made so poorly that the lights do not work?
    Why don’t they get inspected.
    Why do we allow at least a failure rate of 50 percent?
    Why does the industry choose to fight my law that requires the customer to spend
    Why do they come unhiched and kill over 400 people a year?
    Why don’t we require a class to learn how to tow before a person can buy one?
    Why are companies in Virginia stll selling these trailers to the consumer in violation of state law?
    I could keep going on and on.
    Why?… (more) (less)

    Another Accident

    his type of accidents has happend before. In fact this happens at least once a day. Nobody should have to suffer like this family has. Please tell the police to finger print the trailer, maybe they can get a match. This happend 4 months ago and another family has posted the same amount.
    By WALTER LITTRELL -Kingsport Times-News

    The family of a Lee County woman killed in a freak accident last month when a trailer came loose from a truck and the truck kept going is offering a $10,000 reward for information. Times-News file photo.

    JONESVILLE - The family of a Woodway woman killed in a freak accident last month is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver of a pickup truck that lost the trailer that claimed her life.

    Linda Sue Hyden, 49, Route 2, Box 215, Pennington Gap, died at the scene of a June 8 crash when a utility trailer came loose from its tow vehicle and slammed into her Toyota Camry. She was traveling south on Route 421 just south of Elk Knob Elementary School about 5 p.m. when the crash occurred.

    Witnesses reported that the driver of a truck believed to be the tow vehicle stopped briefly a bit down the road then hurriedly left the scene without checking on Hyden. The suspect vehicle, believed to be a blue and white 1980s or 1990s style General Motors pickup truck, left the area traveling north on Route 421.

    The trailer - a red, 20-foot, dual-axle, bumper-pull type with a tailgate ramp - did not have a license plate, a vehicle identification number or any other markings that would allow authorities to quickly identify the owner.

    Sgt. Shawn Givens of the Virginia State Police said Friday investigators have several persons of interest in the case, and none have been eliminated. They most likely won't be eliminated until forensic evidence is back from the state laboratory in Roanoke. Givens said the evidence includes fingerprints and other items he declined to identify.

    Because evidence normally takes some time to come back from the lab, he said the VSP is appealing to the public for any information that could help speed up the solving of the case.

    "We are looking for any information anyone can provide because we do need help with this case," said Givens.

    Trooper Clint Martin has been assigned to investigate the case, said Givens, but he is being assisted by all law enforcement in Lee County including the VSP, the Lee County Sheriff's Department and the Pennington Gap Police Department.

    Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to contact the VSP at 1-800-542-8716 or (276)228-3131. The LCSD and the PGPD can be reached by calling (276)346-7777.


    14,484 injuries and 364 deaths in just one year.

    Towing Troubles: Danger On America's Road

    New Study of Americans Who Tow Finds Many Lack Recommended Safety Precautions While Towing Accidents, Deaths are on the Rise

    MILWAUKEE, Aug. 25 -- You've seen them on the highway -- the oversized boat on a too-small trailer, the overloaded pickup with its cargo ready to topple into the roadway and the rickety camper swaying across the lanes. But did you know the danger they present to motorists around them? Or that many of the Americans who tow don't follow recommended safety precautions?

    A new study, "Towing Troubles: Danger on America's Road", from Customer Profiles, Ltd., and Master Lock, tracks the safety -- or lack thereof -- of the vehicles and trailers being towed on the roadways of America. While sales of campers, boats, ATVs and motorcycles are all on the rise, so are accidents involving the towing of these recreational vehicles.

    Some 57,000 crashes involving passenger vehicles towing trailers occur annually, according to five-year averages of accident analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. In 2003 alone, accidents with trailing vehicles resulted in 364 deaths, 14,484 injuries and 40,080 instances of property damage. Both the numbers of deaths and property damages increased in 2003 from the previous year.

    The primary dangers on the roadways include towed trailers that get loose, trailers that sway and cause the towing vehicle to lose control, trailers that blow tires and cause the towing vehicle to wreck and improperly tied-down cargo that breaks loose and falls into the roadway, causing accidents for other motorists.

    According to Sherline Products Inc., which manufactures trailer tongue weight scales for the towing industry, a customer reported this harrowing experience: "I had a small travel trailer and loaded a number of heavy 5-gallon drinking water bottles in the very back where they would be out of the way during a trip," he said. "After speeding up to pass a truck, I pulled back into my lane and the trailer went into an uncontrollable oscillation. My family was terrified as the car and trailer pitched from one shoulder to the other. I was very lucky to regain control before the rig flipped or went head-on into another vehicle. I just didn't know how dangerous it was or how to load the trailer correctly."

    Many Americans Don't Know How to Tow

    The study, which included more than 500 safety inspections of campers, boating trailers and RVs around the country, found that many Americans who tow don't follow recommended safety precautions and don't properly prepare their towing vehicles before they hit the road. Key findings include:

    -- A majority (51%) of Americans who tow campers, boats or trailers with
    ATVs/jet skis/motorcycles do not use the recommended security methods
    of a locking device for their coupler and hitch.

    -- Nearly 50 percent (48%) of respondents towing boats use only a non-
    locking receiver pin to connect their trailer, which is susceptible to

    -- Respondents towing campers had the best approach to safety, with 69
    percent using both locks and pins to secure their vehicles, 69 percent
    using weight distribution systems, 71 percent using appropriately
    crossed security chains and 52 percent having a properly leveled

    -- Nearly 50 percent (47%) of those towing boats didn't properly cross
    their safety chains under the coupler. Properly crossed safety chains
    form a cradle to catch a trailer if it becomes unhitched and prevent
    it from falling onto the road where it can cause severe vehicle and
    trailer damage as well as accidents and injuries.

    -- A majority of respondents towing boats or ATVs/jet skis/motorcycles
    achieved a moderate or worse ranking on the levelness of their
    trailer. For ATVs/jet skis/motorcycles, 15 percent were ranked poor
    or extremely poor. An unleveled trailer will reduce the driver's
    control of the vehicle and may cause the trailer and consequently the
    vehicle to fishtail.

    -- More than 50 percent (53%) of towing vehicles and trailers received
    only moderate or poor rankings on their electrical systems, which
    means that brake lights, turn signals and reverse lights may not work
    properly. Additionally, frayed and exposed wires pose a significant
    danger. Boat trailers presented the greatest danger, with 17 percent
    of their electrical systems in poor or extremely poor condition.

    -- Trailer tires are one of the biggest dangers on the road, with 41
    percent of tires in only moderate or worse condition. Some 10 percent
    of boat trailers had tires in poor or extremely poor condition. Worn,
    under-inflated and dry-rotted tires can blow under highway conditions,
    leading to dangerous accidents. Forty percent of accidents involving
    a passenger vehicle towing a trailer are due to faulty tires.

    Cargo strapped to vehicles also is an issue. From items carried in the back of pickups to coolers latched to the back of campers to luggage on the top of the family minivan, carrying cargo requires properly placed tie-downs and high-quality bungee cords.

    -- Security of cargo on the trailers also is an issue, with more than 54
    percent of campers, 28 percent of ATVs/jet skis/motorcycles and 49
    percent of boats ranking as moderate or worse in their cargo security.

    -- The security of additional cargo -- loaded in the boats or campers --
    was a significant issue, with 32 percent of respondents ranking
    moderate and 40 percent ranking poor or extremely poor. This means
    coolers, lawn chairs, bicycles, and other typical cargo could easily
    fall into the path of an oncoming car.

    -- The condition of bungee cords was a major issue -- while 56 percent
    were in excellent condition and properly located to hold the cargo, 44
    percent were in moderate or poor condition and improperly located --
    meaning cords could easily snap or come unhooked and release cargo
    onto the roadway.

    -- Ratchet tie-downs were a problem for 39 percent of respondents, as
    those towing boats or ATVs/jet skis/motorcycles received moderate or
    worse marks for the condition and location of the tie-downs securing
    their cargo.

    The "Towing Troubles" study was conducted with a representative sample of 523 respondents. Master Lock Tow Pros conducted inspections of vehicles towing a trailer, camper, or other items at NASCAR facilities, campgrounds, and boating destinations in June and July 2005.
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