Whether you are towing your RV, boat, camper, ATV or just a load of trash to the dump, safety on the road should always be top of mind. Your towed cargo can quickly become hazardous if basic safety precautions are not taken.
The first consideration should be your vehicle. Is it capable of towing the load? A Honda Civic might not have the size or power necessary to pull that RV or cabin cruiser you just purchased. Also, are you ready to handle the size and weight of the trailer attached to your vehicle? It will respond very differently when a significant load is being pulled behind it. Stopping distance will be considerably decreased, as will overall maneuverability.
Another common hazard is broken or improperly connected trailer lights. Always perform a full lighting system check prior to hitting the road with your trailer.
The trailer must also be well-connected to your vehicle, using at least two systems of connection. In addition to the standard trailer hitch, most people also use a set of heavy-duty chains as a back-up system. If chains are used, they must be crossed under the tongue of the trailer to prevent it from dropping to the road if the primary hitch fails.
Lastly, you should never allow a passenger to ride in a trailer, no matter the circumstances. It is illegal and can be dangerous.
Towing a trailer adds a level of complexity to your travels. Care and consideration must be taken before, during and after your trip to keep yourself and others safe on our highways.
Oatley Vigmond is Ontario’s Personal Injury Law Firm. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a motor vehicle collision, we may be able to help.