Runaway Trailers a Major Injury Risk on the Road

Runaway Trailers a Major Injury Risk on the Road

We have laws and basic safety regulations for car, trucks, motorcycles, and pretty much every other type of motorized vehicle. But what about an attachment to these vehicles? Not so much. Take, for example, trailers. If a trailer weighs less than 3,000 pounds there are virtually no safety regulations.

This lack of oversight has translated into runaway trailers on highways and an increasing number of people seriously injured or killed due to runaway trailer.

The most common occurrence features a trailer detaching from a vehicle and becoming an injury torpedo directed towards an on-coming vehicle. The results are devastating. Vehicles can be sliced in two or completely demolished if they're struck by a runaway trailer.

So what can we do to correct this problem? Well, there are actually a number of common sense solutions lawmakers could implement.

1.)Require the safety lights on each trailer to be fully functioning and operational

The police have the right to pull you over if your brake light has burned out. The same should apply to the lights on a trailer. Many safety lights do not work and pose a challenge to drivers trying to navigate behind, or around, vehicles with these trailers.

2.)Require some type of reflective material on ALL trailers

The regulations in place provide many loopholes and are basically ineffective. New regulations requiring some type of reflective material (e.g. tape, mesh, etc.) for all trailers; no exclusions for weight or the "type" of trailer.

3.)Create fines for drivers who fail to meet the two regulations listed above

For these regulations to actually work, they need to have some muscle behind them. That's why there has to be an enforcement mechanism for police officers. Some type of fine or citation is necessary so drivers understand the ramifications of failing to safely attach and handle their trailers. The same logic has been applied to texting while driving. Numerous states, including Virginia (VA), levy pretty hefty fines against drivers who are caught texting while behind the wheel.

If these common sense solutions are enacted, the number of runaway trailer accidents leading to serious injury or death should decrease. But if we continue down the path we're on, I fear we'll see more and more
tragic stories like Caitlyn Johnson. As I have discussed before, visit for the real back stories of families devastated by runaway trailers.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have handled thousands of car and truck accident cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on distracted driving and The Best Guide to Car Accident injuries in Virginia. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) although our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now-we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.


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