Road hazards encountered with something in tow

road hazards when towningToday this blog is a little personal.  Why you ask?  Well as I was headed to Plymouth, MA on Sunday hauling a small motorcycle trailer myself, I encounter what could have been a major accident for myself and others on the highway.  As we all know summer is the time we hit the road for vacation.  Many us of travel with RV’s or utility trailers in tow.  As with anything in tow there are always potential hazards we must be aware of.  In my case, I was traveling with a motorcycle trailer.  We had done a full inspection of the trailer before hitting the road, including the tires, lights and chains.  In this case it was not my trailer I would need to be concerned about on our trip.

So as I proceed through the heavy traffic on both the Mass Pike and then onto 495, I am always keeping a close eye on my surroundings. Mind you I am following a friend who knows the way we are headed.  So with that in mind I try to keep a safe but close distance as not to lose site of my friend.  As I was 15 miles into the 40 + miles of 495 we needed to travel, a large RV hauling a utility trailer swiftly decided to squeeze into my lane between myself and my friend. What would happen in the next few minutes would challenge my awareness and quick reflexes on the road.

Now I will state that the full size RV, was hauling a decent sized utility trailer, which seemed to be secure.  Either way I was keeping a safe distance. There is a section of 495 that is under construction, where the payment becomes grooved.  Within 5-10 minutes of the RV squeezing between myself and my friend I was following, a tire blew out on the utility trailer.  It sent scraps of rubber straight for me. I immediately looked to my left to see if I had room to move to the left lane and quickly veered over to avoid the flying debris of the tire. As I did this, I looked in my rear view mirror to see if anyone else had seen what I had and was moving out of the way as well.  My concern was I was going to cause an accident by veering out the way and quickly slowing down myself.  The RV now had to get himself into the right lane and over to the shoulder while the tire continued to shred throwing debris all over the highway.  Thankful in this situation no accident occurred from this incident, but definitely caused me and I’m sure other drivers quiet a scare.

The lesson we all can take away from this incident is to make sure before towing a utility trailer, bike trailer or anything in tow, to do a full inspection before hitting the road.

1. Check to make sure you have the correct air pressure in the tires for the trailer, which will be different for each style and whether you are towing empty or full

2. Check for dry rot on the tires

3. Check that the chains are securely attached to your vehicle

4. Check to be sure the trailer hitch is securely attached

5. Check to make sure all lights are working properly on your trailer.

6. Make sure your trailer is properly registered and insured

Safety and awareness while traveling can help prevent you from being part of an accident. I hope you take a little insight from my unfortunate encounter on the road and stay alert and safe while you travel this summer.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

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