Whether you are moving to a new home or towing a boat, it is critical that you know how to haul cargo safely. Without the proper technique, you could cause an accident or damage your vehicle.
If you were injured by a driver who made an error while hauling, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income and other damages. A Baton Rouge accident lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC can guide you through the claims process.
Here are five tips to improve your safety when hauling:
- Verify Tow Rating
You do not need to have a large truck or powerful engine to tow a trailer. You can learn your vehicle’s hauling capacity by checking its tow rating, according to AutomobileMag.com.
Many smaller sedans and SUVs can safely tow light to medium loads. Even vehicles with low tow ratings may be able to tow a motorbike or standard trailer with a load of up to 2,000 pounds.
The best way to verify your vehicle’s tow rating is to check your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer. Do not exceed this rating; rather, rent a larger vehicle if you need to tow heavy objects.
- Check Your Hitch
The hitch is the critical link between your vehicle and the trailer. Hitches come in different sizes, and using the incorrect hitch ball is dangerous.
The trailer should click snugly over the hitch ball. Check if there is too much play around the hitch, or if it feels too tight. Use a lock or pin to keep the trailer latched to the vehicle.
- Increase Following Distance and Reduce Speed
Towing a trailer will add momentum to your vehicle and increase stopping distance. A trailer can also make it difficult to avoid unexpected hazards. Be sure to increase your following distance and reduce your speed to minimize your risk of crashing.
- Avoid Jackknifing
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, jackknifing happens when the angle between the car and the trailer is less than 90 degrees. Never let the trailer move beyond the L shape when turning and reversing. If you feel the trailer moving out too much to either side when reversing, then drive forward to straighten out.
- Avoid the Curb
Many drivers who are hauling for the first time turn corners too early. This can cause the trailer to clip the curb and roll over. Take a wide angle when cornering, and turn sharply.
If you were in a crash with a negligent or reckless driver, a Baton Route accident attorney from Morris Bart, LLC can evaluate your collision, gather evidence and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Schedule a consultation today by calling 800-537-8185.