Toddler and father die due to an improperly hitched trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-13-2013, 12:39 PM   #1
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Toddler and father die due to an improperly hitched trailer

Sad story hope it makes folks stop and check they have a good hitch set up and it is fully secure each and every time they hook up.

After toddlers death, UHP warns of improperly hitched trailers.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:51 PM   #2
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The article attributes the accident to a single factor:
Quote:
The trailer's hitch was missing a 75-cent clip.
In fact,
  • the coupler must have been faulty or improperly latched, and
  • the clip was missing, and
  • the safety chains must have been missing, inadequate, or just not used
It's easy to make a single mistake, but three? That's extreme negligence.
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The article attributes the accident to a single factor:

In fact,
  • the coupler must have been faulty or improperly latched, and
  • the clip was missing, and
  • the safety chains must have been missing, inadequate, or just not used
It's easy to make a single mistake, but three? That's extreme negligence.
....and, four, the emergency battery powered brakes failed to function ? ( assuming the trailer had brakes ).
I see a LOT of trailers running around with no safety cable attached to connect the safety braking switch to the tow vehicle. That just flat out pisses me off when I see incorrect/unsafe rigging.

Godspeed to the little youngster and her father...
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:33 PM   #4
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I can see a possible need to check trailers for the rigging
as they spy each car for seat-belts.

Might be good if there was some way to have signs at all
campgrounds and boat ramps to "Rig it right." or something
to that effect. Like "Buckle-Up, It's the Law."
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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How about those of us that have the puter skills to
come up with different pictures for a universal sign?

Like showing different hitches, each rigged wrong,
or not really rigged at all? ≠

Maybe we could make a difference?
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #6
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This tragedy happened in 2010, and seems to come up every year around this time as a public-service reminder. Hope it reaches as many folks as possible.

I'll never forget my own best lesson on this subject:
Years ago here in Jefferson County, a couple of local fellows I knew slightly met one day on a country road. Al 's home-built (and no safety chains) farm trailer came loose and crossed the road, killing Ron instantly when it struck his car. Al knew Ron, too, and never got over the guilt of what his carelessness had done.

Be careful BEFORE you go out there, folks!

Francesca
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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Doesn't make me fear it.
Just more conscious to make each connection.

I have pulled a utility trailer without chains.
But it was moving it to mow under it. Not on the road.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
....and, four, the emergency battery powered brakes failed to function ? ( assuming the trailer had brakes ).
Good catch. If the trailer was heavy enough to do that damage, it probably should have had brakes.

Brakes could be electric or surge - either way, there's a breakaway feature for this sort of situation.

Unfortunately, in Utah there appears to be no specific rules for trailer brakes, just the requirement of
41-6a-1623:
Quote:
(1) A motor vehicle and a combination of vehicles shall have a service braking system which will stop the motor vehicle or combination of vehicles within:
(a) 40 feet from an initial speed of 20 miles per hour on a level, dry, smooth, hard surface...
This is only 1/3 of a "g" of deceleration, which is likely attainable by most vehicles with an unbraked trailer equal to the weight of the tug. With no specific provision for trailer brakes, there is no requirement for breakaway systems. Laws exist to protect us - including ourselves - from the irresponsible and incompetent; in this case the law appears to be lacking.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reminder Carol I wouldn't care if someone posted the link to this tragedy every single year. WE are sharing the road and they with us. It doesn't hurt anything, takes very little time and costs no money to make sure we do everything we can so ALL of us can enjoy camping and life.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:59 PM   #10
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Isn't it interesting that the death of an innocent toddler is assumed to motivate us to be careful, while the death of a random innocent adult presumably would not.

I don't have a problem with one such post each year. Do we want one topic for every trailer-related accident?
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I don't have a problem with one such post each year. Do we want one topic for every trailer-related accident?
I don't care one way or the other. I read what I want and ignore what I choose to ignore... just like everyone can.

We have new people joining every day, I think current posts about accidents, etc. are helpful reminders for us that have been around a while and would be of value to those that are brand new to the forum and most important to those that have never towed a trailer.

YMMV
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlkeigley View Post
I can see a possible need to check trailers for the rigging
as they spy each car for seat-belts.

Might be good if there was some way to have signs at all
campgrounds and boat ramps to "Rig it right." or something
to that effect. Like "Buckle-Up, It's the Law."
Excellent sentiment, but...
Some folks seem to think we need to have big brother watching our every move... maybe those are just the ones who need to be watched and discouraged from voting!
No number of reminders, fines, or laws will eliminate all accidents.
Even the best drivers make bad mistakes and no punishment could match the knowledge of having caused a death due to a simple oversight.
Some may benefit from this tragedy as a reminder,but fear is always a second rate motivator.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:51 PM   #13
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A timely post for the height of trailer towing season. I like to think that I'll never make a mistake and forget to latch and lock the hitch but I have made one or two mistakes in my life.

Still though, when crossing into Montana recently, while I answered all the usual questions to the border guard in the booth, two others walked up and started inspecting my trailer hitch. I wasn't really worried that they'd find anything wrong but it was a little distracting when they gave it a bit of a push and pull or whatever they did. Thinking about it though it's probably not a bad practice even if it did feel like someone was messing with my rig
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:04 PM   #14
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The thread would carry a lot more weight if it happened to mention what a good hitching procedure entails.
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