Taking a vacation and getting away from it all is one of the many rewards that Americans can enjoy from the fruits of their labor. Being able to take a week or two off is often one of the great bonuses of any job, if not one of the most highly prized. While a fair number of individuals fly to their vacation destinations, many others take the family car. There is no doubt that working people all across the state of Maryland take advantage of their vacation time by packing up the family and going on one of these much needed excursions.
The well-known “family vacation,” portrayed by Hollywood with alternating joy and angst, is still a mainstay of family life nationwide. For those hardcore and highly intrepid adventurers, the family sedan or mom’s minivan is often considered wholly inadequate for the task, which usually results in hitching up a pop-up travel trailer to a large sport utility vehicle, or even pulling a much larger RV-style trailer. Whatever the choice, as Baltimore auto accident lawyers and personal injury experts, the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, knows that the dangers encountered on any road can often be amplified when hauling a trailer with the family vehicle.
As sad as it is to contemplate, towing-related car and truck accidents can and do happen every year, taking the lives of numerous innocent victims during family vacations and weekend outings, not to mention injuring many more in the process. Traffic safety experts tend to agree that adding a trailer of any kind to a passenger vehicle can increase the likelihood of a roadway accident, whether on a family vacation or simply hauling cargo across town.
There is a multitude of ways in which towing a trailer can increase the risk of being involved in a bad highway collision. Topping the list is the limited rearward visibility and reduced maneuverability that any large trailer can pose to the driver of a passenger car or truck; even with mirror extenders and added precaution when changing lanes and backing up, trailers by their very nature cause a reduction in rearward visibility, all of which means an increase in the odds of a possibly serious accident.
Additionally, even seasoned motorists can have a very hard time making tight turns in dense traffic or urban driving situations. The personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand how the addition of several thousand pounds of trailer weight can change the handling and braking characteristics of a passenger vehicle, making it more difficult to safely control a car or light truck at highway speeds or in emergency braking situations.
Not being familiar with the effects that a heavy trailer has on a motor vehicle, some drivers can be caught off guard if another vehicle cuts them off in traffic. Hitting the brakes too hard or attempting an emergency steering maneuver without consideration for the physics of a car coupled with a larger trailer can result in jackknifing of the vehicle-trailer combination. In fact, simply putting too much stress on a lightweight passenger car can cause a breakdown, which alone can increase the risk of an accident by the side of the roadway.
When it comes to towing-related automobile wrecks, it is often the case that property damage will occur, in addition to the very good chance of some kind of bodily injury to vehicle occupants. Traffic safety experts remind the driving public to be especially cautious when driving near or passing another car or truck that is towing a trailer of any type. It is common, according to many police agencies, that vehicle safety violations are found in about half of all instances where a car is pulling a trailer.
Over the last 25 years or so, almost a half million people have been injured across the U.S. in towing-related collisions. In that same period of time, statistics show that more than 700,000 tow vehicles, as well as campers, boats and other kinds of trailers, have been totaled as a result of a traffic-related towing crash.
Although going on a trailering vacation with the family may be a popular pastime, even the best prepared RVers can find themselves in risky driving situations. These instances, which happen more often that some may imagine, can not only put the occupants of the towing vehicle at some substantial risk, the drivers and passengers in nearby vehicles may also find themselves in jeopardy should an unexpected problem crop up.
Regardless of whether a motor vehicle is towing a motorboat, flatbed utility trailer, horse trailer, pop-up camper, or full-size fifth-wheel RV trailer, a blown tire, poorly secured hitch, or sudden traffic emergency can set in motion a potential crash that can result in serious bodily injury. There are so many possible scenarios for towing-related traffic collisions, as Maryland personal injury attorneys, we know that every case must be researched and investigated fully to determine fault and establish responsibility for the recovery of damages.
As most any traffic safety advocate or police officer will tell you, the single-most common factor in a towing- or trailer-related road accident is driver inexperience. While it may seem a simple task to hook up a trailer and begin driving down the road, when a problem arises, which it often does, the person behind the wheel may be wholly unprepared to handle his vehicle to the extent necessary to avoid a tragic accident.
A fair number of towing accidents involve what is known as “trailer sway” incidents. Some of the most terrifying moments experienced by motorists on this nation’s interstates involve being near a trailer that begins to fishtail uncontrollably. Regardless of the size of the towing vehicle or the trailer itself, a wildly swaying trailer can cause a frightening situation on any roadway, especially at high speeds. In fact, trailer sway incidents are some of the main reasons why many drivers walk away from recreational towing instead of take any more chances with their safety or that of their family.
Whether an accident is caused by an uncontrollably swaying trailer or because of a blown tire or road hazard, anyone who has been injured badly in a towing-related traffic accident should consider contacting a qualified personal injury lawyer with experience in car and truck accident cases. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, our helpful legal staff will guide you through the process of filing an injury claim. We prepare all our clients’ cases with the intent of taking each to court. In our experience, the best prepared cases can sometimes result in an out-of-court settlement, which can reduce the amount of emotional pain and mental strain felt by many plaintiffs.
The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are ready, willing and able to assist with your personal injury claim. As Baltimore automobile and commercial trucking accident experts, we fully understand how easily a person can become a victim of an unpredictable highway wreck. Regardless of the cause, our legal staff can help you and your family understand your options when pursuing an injury claim. We are skilled in working with auto insurance carriers to make certain that any past, present and future medical expenses, plus lost wages, if any, will be covered. Contact us today at (800) 654-1949 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Or, email either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to discuss your personal injury claim.