Boating is extremely popular in Tampa, with over 41,000 boats registered in Hillsborough County. You often see people on Tampa roads towing their boats behind their cars, SUVs, and trucks. It’s also common to see drivers in the area towing RVs, motorcycles, travel trailers, campers, cars, and horses.
Unfortunately, drivers who are towing trailers often cause accidents. The drivers may be inexperienced or careless. Their trailers or trailer hitches may be defective. When these drivers lose control of their trailers, the results can be devastating for anyone who is near them on the road.
If you have been seriously injured in a recent accident involving a trailer or trailer hitch, an experienced Dennis Hernandez & Associates Tampa car accident lawyer can help. We would be glad to provide a free consultation to let you know if you are eligible to seek financial compensation for your medical expenses, income losses, pain, and emotional distress.
How Trailer Sway and Detachment Cause Accidents on Tampa Roads
Sometimes a boat, RV, or other object being towed starts to fishtail back and forth across the road. This is called “trailer sway” and is very dangerous. The trailer can suddenly flip over, causing a collision with other vehicles nearby.
Trailer sway is a major cause of accidents that involve trailers, and it is usually the fault of the driver. Common reasons for trailer sway include:
- The driver is using the wrong type of trailer or trailer hitch for their vehicle.
- High winds are pushing the trailer around, and the driver fails to properly correct for the motion.
- The driver is speeding.
- The hitch weight is unevenly distributed.
Another common cause of accidents involving trailers is trailers detaching from the towing vehicles. This may occur if:
- The trailer or hitch are defective.
- The trailer or hitch are not properly maintained and inspected.
- The trailer is not properly attached to the towing vehicle.
- The load being carried is too heavy for the trailer or towing vehicle.
- Loading was not done properly.
- The center of gravity is too high.
- Safety chains are not properly attached.
If you were injured in an accident involving a trailer in Tampa or anywhere in Florida, and the driver towing the trailer was negligent, or the trailer or hitch were defective, an experienced Dennis Hernandez & Associates Tampa car accident lawyer can help you seek substantial compensation from the at-fault driver or manufacturer.
Safety Procedures for Drivers Towing Trailers in Tampa
Driver negligence is a major cause of accidents involving trailers. If you plan to tow a trailer, you can help prevent accidents by making sure that your trailer is in safe condition and properly loaded before you leave and by driving safely when you are on the road.
Before leaving, check to be sure that:
- You have the right type of trailer and hitch for your towing vehicle.
- Your trailer and load are not too heavy for your vehicle.
- The load is securely fastened.
- Chains, harness, and cable are properly connected, and ramps or gates are secure.
- Ball and coupler are the right size, ball is fastened securely, and ball mount pin is in.
- Locking lever is down, pin is installed, and tongue jack is up.
- Tires are properly inflated, and lights and brakes are working.
When you are driving:
- Don’t speed, especially when going downhill.
- On downhills, use your brakes sparingly, and slow down by downshifting into lower gears.
- If the trailer starts to sway, use the trailer brake manually to slow down, not the towing vehicle’s brakes.
- If the trailer is being pushed by high winds, take your foot off the gas, hold the steering wheel firmly, steer straight ahead, and do not brake.
- Always check your blind spots before changing lanes or turning.
- Always pay attention to the road, and don’t get distracted by your phone.
- Don’t drive when you are fatigued or impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Drive defensively.
Compensation Available in Tampa for Accidents Involving Trailers
Accidents involving trailers often occur because the drivers towing the trailers don’t follow the safety procedures described above. If you were hurt because another driver’s trailer flipped over, became detached, or was dangerous in any other way, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. An experienced Tampa car accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process.
Compensation may include:
- Medical expenses, including current and future medication, doctor visits, surgery, hospital charges, assistive equipment, and rehabilitation.
- Current and future lost income if your injuries prevent you from working, or if you have to work fewer hours or take a lower-paying job.
- Compensation for scars, disfigurement, disabilities, lower quality of life, trauma, emotional distress, and your family’s loss of your companionship and support.
If a loved one passed away in an accident involving a trailer, you may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim.
We Help Trailer Accident Victims in Tampa
Every Dennis Hernandez & Associates Tampa car accident lawyer has the experience, knowledge, commitment, and access to resources to help you obtain all the financial compensation that Florida law provides. If you were seriously injured in a Florida accident involving a trailer or trailer hitch, contact us at 855-529-3366, or fill out the form on this page, for a free evaluation and case review.