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Old 07-06-2010, 03:54 AM   #1
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New Towing Laws

There was an article in USA Today covering the new tougher towing laws that took effect in Virginia last week and how several other states may be considering the same.


The article mentions:

"States are beginning to address a highway safety issue that previously had little visibility: motorists killed in accidents involving passenger vehicles towing trailers.
An average of more than one person a day dies in such crashes, according to federal data."

"From 1975 through 2008, 15,211 people were killed in crashes involving passenger vehicles towing trailers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."


See link below:

State laws target safety of towed trailers - USATODAY.com


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Old 07-06-2010, 06:13 AM   #2
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I see countless boat and utility trailers without the safety chains in use.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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Safety chains, Hitch weights and an old joke:

Optimist: Yugo with a trailer hitch

All, apply.. I see many trailers with tow vehicles that aver very clearly in the TOO SMALL class.

And then there is the ongoing debate "Do I need an aux braking system on my towed"

The answer. folks, is YES. you do,

There are many ways for a car towing a trailer to mess up.. But the most common one is a 3 ton trailer behind a car with 3,000 pounds towing capacity or ..

Well, you can play with those two numbers but the idea is the first is way bigger than the second.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
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"A Virginia law that took effect last week requires that any vehicle towing another vehicle or trailer have a trailer hitch or similar device strong enough for the weight of the vehicle or trailer being towed."

common sense

i remeber seeing a VEGA towing a huge deep vee powerboat many moons agao
bumper was twisted like a pretzel.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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I've seen more stupid mistakes by people towing boat trailers, evidently in too much of a hurry to get to the lake. The best was on the 215 radial in Las Vegas a couple years ago. I came across a new Dodge pickup that had been towing his new speed boat. He evidently didn't attach the tie downs to the transom and when he hit a rise in the highway the boat took off and landed on top of the concrete median barrier where it sat perched for our bemusement. Luckely for him it didn't get over the barrier into oncoming trafic.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:36 PM   #6
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So this is the wrong vehicle to tow a 5'er with?
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:26 PM   #7
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That pic is too funny. Amazing what some people will do.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
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The phrase "trailers" covers an awfully diverse group. I have seen more dangerous "small" cargo trailer situations than I have RV trailers.

Although I will never forget the huge Fiver that was behind me one time on Hwy 76 in N. GA outside of Blairsville,(I changed lanes... I had been watching them drive thru the little town, I knew what was going to happen and I didn't want to be in the way). The Fiver was huge, the truck.... was not. Anyone could see the truck was way too small to be pulling anything of that size. Outside of Blairsville (heading west) a little ways from town is a traffic light. I don't know where the sensor is but I always was stopped by the light. I slowed down, stopped and told my daughter who was riding with me... "This is why you don't pull a trailer with a truck that isn't capable of stopping it. You can't pull a trailer with any truck that will move it down the road. Now watch and learn..." The truck hit its brakes and the trailer pushed it thru the traffic light, I mean all the way thru. The fiver was well over 30 ft... probably closer to 40 ft.. I could have parked 3 of my Jeep Grand Cherokees (with room between each) in the space behind the Fiver left between the end of the fiver and the far edge of the intersection where it finally stopped. It was a good thing that there was no one crossing the intersection because the timing was right... that truck would have taken out any vehicle right at the passenger compartment. When I passed them again... the folks inside looked awfully freaked.

I believe that instead of putting so much emphasis on "pulling power", they need to concentrate a bit more on "stopping capabilities" when discussing what a truck can tow.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegasdan View Post
I've seen more stupid mistakes by people towing boat trailers, evidently in too much of a hurry to get to the lake. The best was on the 215 radial in Las Vegas a couple years ago. I came across a new Dodge pickup that had been towing his new speed boat. He evidently didn't attach the tie downs to the transom and when he hit a rise in the highway the boat took off and landed on top of the concrete median barrier where it sat perched for our bemusement. Luckely for him it didn't get over the barrier into oncoming trafic.
The Navel Safety Center had this one on there site.
http://www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen/Pages/photo/photo379.aspx
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:54 PM   #10
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Many thanks for the great replies. Some good stories too. However, I did not see the jest of the new law in VA. Was it merely addressing safety chains and weight capacity of the hitch. Or was there something more I missed?

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Old 07-06-2010, 09:39 PM   #11
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I read the article here today about towing fatalities. It has to start with the dealers-their salesmen MUST become educated about towing. They are ones that tell people they don't need tow chains, break away cables, no sway bars-you just need a ball, no electric brakes-etc. Or the best are the ones that tell the guy with that little SUV-sure you can tow the 10,000lbs easy. It's scary out there because Joe Q Public who are just starting out, will believe them. Forget the buck-I'd be more afraid that a lawyer who was wise would go after them if it could be proved a saleman misled the customer.

I also think the states need to have the same rules involving towing-one says if your a contractor and it weighs 3000lbs, you need safety chains. If your a private citizen with the same trailer-you don't. Too many needless accidents occur so because people don't learn about what they are getting into with towing. They know nothing about their vehicle's capacities, nothing about hitches, brakes, etc. We do need better education as a whole before we tow anything behind our vehicles.

If I'd not asked as many questions from everyone here back in 2000, I'd have been one of those who got duped by a salesmen. He tried to convince me that my 1/2 ton conversion van with a 5.7 liter could pull a 34ft camper and just with a ball hitch. I learned a LOT from the experiences people here at the time-and am forever grateful that I didn't end up a statistic because the salesman said "I could".

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Old 07-07-2010, 04:43 AM   #12
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Nell,

An honest salesman once told me that I was not allowed to talk to the customers because I delt in facts and would end up telling the truth so leave it to him to deal with the customers as he being the sales manager was in charge of the lies. So salesman and honesty many times will seem like an oxymoron.

It is because of the extreme greed so prevalent today that so many salesmen dupe people into unsafe practices just so they can quickly close the deal and make a quick buck.

The minimum DOT standards have existed for years and most states already have laws covering towing however sad to say that those existing regs are greatly ignored by so many people. Without a more consistant and comprehensive system of enforcement the new towing laws may end up having little effect even though they may sound like a giant leap in protecting us from these types of accidents.

Here in Florida the Govonor signed a law that requires all employers to make health insurance available to a employees dependent children to age 35. This sounded great until you discover it was only applied if your employer had a fully insured health plan by an In-State provider. It turns out that only around 10% or fewer of the company health plans in Florida are fully insured health plans by In-State providers.

The new towing laws may only impact those who are honest and would not even give a second thought to taking risks of this nature or those who have been in an accident involving an unsafe hitch setup and don't want a second or third offense on their record or don't want to face being sued again.

Time will tell in the meantime let's all to the best of our ability play it safe.


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Old 07-07-2010, 06:02 AM   #13
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NeilV, regrettably you are right. Those with little regard for the law will continue to ignore it.
Add to the list requiring safety chains, gooseneck adapters, and gooseneck trailers-in Indiana anyway.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:05 AM   #14
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yeah, Ray&Pam, now that brought back some "fear", 25 years ago in NJ on I-80, some one sure didn't secure the boat to the trailer and what a back up on a hot/ humid day that was,
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