Did you just make a new boat purchase, and you want to test it out on a fishing daytrip? Or, maybe you’ve packed up a trailer for a big move from the city. Maybe it’s time for some family bonding in an RV for a cross-country vacation. In all those scenarios, you might consider towing using your vehicle. Before you hitch a ride, consider the some of the risks associated with towing and what you can do to keep yourself and your property safe while avoiding towing accidents.
If you were involved in a car accident in Chicago that involved towing, then you may not be at fault. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to find out what we can do for you.
Towing with a Vehicle
If it’s your first time towing, you want to set aside some time to practice navigation. Use a large field or an empty lot to perfect your turning, breaking, and reversing with a trailer. Practice is also the best opportunity to check for any potential errors with your trailer setup.
Understand Laws and Avoiding Towing Accidents
Each state has its own regulations governing towing and towing equipment. Ensuring that your vehicle and setup meet the legal requirements will help you avoid costly violation fines and potential criminal liability in the future. Abiding by these laws can help you avoid towing accidents.
Also, research whether your insurance company will cover you when towing. Your policy may have specific requirements to which you must adhere for coverage to apply. If something goes wrong, and you are not covered, then you risk total financial responsibility for damage.
Your insurance company may also have regulations they expect you to follow when towing a vehicle. Take time to research this information, too — if you violate any rules your insurance company may refuse to provide coverage if something goes wrong.
Make sure that you have the proper equipment to tow. This includes your vehicle and it’s safe towing capacity. The towing weight limit you calculate should include the rig and the cargo. You also should check that your vehicle’s braking system is compatible with the trailer, and you must keep your trailer bar level. Failure to confirm either aspect can result in dangerous sharp turns and sways.
The size of your trailer has an effect on your driving visibility. Practicing maneuvers will not help if your trailer creates or exacerbates blind spots. Consider purchasing extended mirrors to help with changing lanes. Keep a safe ratio between the size of your vehicle and the size of your trailer, and travel with a signal buddy. This person can help guide you into spaces, such as those reserved at campsites.
If you do not watch your speed when towing, you can risk an accident due to increased momentum or a failure to account for the distance needed to come to speed. When you are towing, you are adding weight to your car. This means that your car will need to work harder to speed up or slow down. Use caution when passing other vehicles, traveling on uneven terrain, or going down hills.
Take sharp turns slowly, accounting for the space needed to turn both your vehicle and your trailer. If you turn too quickly, you can cause your cargo to sway – even flip over in a towing accident. Faulty or incorrect towing equipment, such as the trailer hitch or the trailer tongue, can restrict the ability to make a proper turn.
Slow, gradual braking is key when towing. If you brake too quickly, you can risk cargo jackknifing, resulting in a costly accident. To ease the pressure and wear on your car’s brakes, find a trailer with its own brake system. Be sure that the connections between the trailer and your car are functioning well, as the law requires that you have signals, brake lights, and reflectors employed to alert other drivers.
Safe driving habits include proper towing procedures. No matter what you want to transport, make sure that you heed before you hitch. Research your car’s towing capabilities, know the scope of your insurance coverage, and consult with legal experts on applicable laws. Preparation will greatly lower the risk of an at-fault towing accident, resulting in a more enjoyable trip for you and other drivers around you.
Whether it’s educating yourself on towing regulations or fighting for the recovery you deserve due to a towing accident, we can help. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan.
You deserve attorneys who care about your safety and your recovery. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form for more information and a free consultation.