Trailers Can Maim and Kill

Billy Cunningham
(866) 735-1102 Ext 676
Posted by Billy Cunningham

Trailers Can Maim and Kill

Billy Cunningham
(866) 735-1102 Ext 676
Posted by Billy CunninghamJanuary 21, 2013 9:48 AM

After my last post regarding awnings separating from RVs,, I received an email from Ron J. Melancon who is the Founder/President of Dangerous He brought to my attention the number of injuries and deaths caused by trailers coming loose from the towing vehicle. I learned some scary things about trailers, the lack of standards, the lack of government control or interest and even worse the number of unnecessary injuries and deaths caused by trailers. I encourage you to go to the Dangerous webpage and learn more for yourself.

Among the sad stories of lost lives and serious injuries, the website offers two books by the Purdue University Extension Service that can be downloaded for free: “Keep the Trailer Connected to the Truck-Understanding the ‘Hitch’ System” and “The Tractor Hitch Pin- A Critical Component in Keeping Control of Implements.” Both books give excellent safety advice on towing trailers or farm implements. They also provide photographs of the disastrous consequences when safety precautions are not taken or improper equipment is used in towing.

Dangerous also keeps up with trailer accidents in the various states. For example, it reports over 1,000 trailer accidents in Alabama. Those accidents include deaths. Dangerous has followed trailer related accidents in the news media as well as gathered information from the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA). It reports that since 1975 over 15,010 people have been killed and since 1988 over 451,050 people have been injured by trailers. These numbers are shocking. There are simple safety rules that can be employed that would have prevented many of these accidents.

I would encourage all trailer owners or implement haulers to visit the webpage and review their information so you can be aware of the dangers when towing equipment. Learn how to protect your trailer from coming off. Nobody wants to be the cause of an incident that kills or seriously injures innocent people.

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Ron - 

Just didn't want you to think that everyone has failed to be interested in
improving trailer standards.  At least Canada is interested in attempting to
write a standard for HORSE trailers!  Once we get that - perhaps we can roll
it over to other areas?

Please do not take any action on this email - it is FYI only - when the
teleconference is over I will of course share what I can with you.  As in
most things - this is a slow process.


-----Original Message----- 
July teleconference, horse trailer standards
Standards Association. The CSA is interested in the possibility of
establishing standards for horse trailers.

As noted at the Animal Transportation Association Vancouver 2012
international conference on horse transport, the lack of standards in
the manufacture of non-commercial horse trailers contributes to injury
and death of horses and humans. Your USRider on-going study of over 800
known trailer incidents reveals poor quality materials including tires,
wiring, braking performance, instability at highway speeds, poor welds,
trailer skin so thin it can be punched through with a fist, shifting
loads, mismatch between trailer and tow vehicle, tow vehicle and trailer
separation, overloading, no mandatory recall on defective parts, and
horses thrown or falling from the trailer and posing an additional road

As well, few trailers meet the Five Freedoms endorsed by animal welfare
interests: providing an environment conducive to normal behavior, rest,
drinking and eating, and which minimizes the risk of injury, mental or
physical distress, or disease.

Currently, there are no standards in North America for manufacturing
horse trailers. To the best of my knowledge, standards are also
non-existent in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.

With your help, the CSA will explore the level of interest among
stakeholders for supporting a research effort into establishing
standards for horse trailer design and structure. Part of the effort
might include minimum braking performance, minimum wiring standards and
protection of horse and human life during typical highway incidents such
as occur at intersections, collisions, and roll-overs.

These Standards would provide an informed basis for manufacturing,
insurance, regulatory, animal welfare and public interests to compare
trailer quality and engineering. They would level the playing field
among manufacturers. No longer would a trailer dealer be able to tell
the naive buyer that the reason the trailer top is so flimsy is because
"It is better for horses to be thrown from a trailer in an accident."

Should the project to develop a Standard proceed following the
feasibility study, the Standard will not become enforceable until it is
referenced in a contract, in legislation, by being adopted by insurance
issuers or underwriters or by Transport Canada or a similar authority.

Your participation is vital. Before the CSA can become involved with a
feasibility study, it needs to determine in this conference call the
level of support, both volunteer and monetary, from the stakeholders.

If the feasibility study is approved and indicates that there is a need,
the next step will be to set up a standards development project. The CSA
is the project manager but only the expert technical committee decides
on the content of the Standard. If further applied research is required
the work may contracted to a qualified test facility.

Those few trailer manufacturers who have already applied testing
standards to their product could likely save the technical committee
much time. But the committee would need to judge the validity of the tests.

We look forward to consulting with you. This is followed by
further details of the CSA's role and the equipment required for your
participation in the teleconference.

 An agenda will be circulated to confirmed
participants prior to the teleconference. Confirmed participants will
also receive a biographical sketch of each of the participants prior to
the teleconference.

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