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How to stop trailer accidents

Trailer accidents are, in many cases, highly avoidable. Even so, they happen in Illinois and can have disastrous results. A car that hits a trailer that has broken free from the towing car could be completely destroyed, seriously injuring or even killing the occupants. So, how can those who are towing trailers put an end to this problem?

First off, drivers need to be sure that their vehicles were actually designed to tow trailers. The vehicle needs to have the proper suspension and braking systems, and the trailer hookups -- which can be installed with aftermarket parts -- need to work with the vehicle properly. In addition, even vehicles that are meant to tow trailers have weight limits, and these should never be ignored.

Drivers also need to make sure that they have the right hitch and ball setup. It must be rated for the proper amount of weight, and the two pieces must match perfectly. If the hitch is larger than the ball, the trailer should never be towed. Even when they match, chains should be used so that the trailer doesn't come completely free if the hitch and ball come apart.

Finally, all wiring needs to be done properly to hook up trailer lights. These are not just running lights, but have to be properly connected to trigger when the brakes on the towing vehicle are pressed.

Drivers have a duty to keep other people safe on the road by only using trailers in a safe, controlled manner. If someone was negligent in hooking up a trailer and it came loose, injuring you in the resulting accident, you may be able to use this negligence to seek financial compensation.

Source: Great American Insurance Group, "Avoid Trailer Accidents," accessed Nov. 17, 2016

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