Roadway Safety: Importance of Preventing and Correcting Trailer Sway

Whether you’re planning on a vacation with the family next summer or just want to hook up a trailer and go on a cross-country road trip for some alone time, long drives are great. Driving across states, taking in all the nature, and just clearing your mind is a great way to refresh and clear your mind.

Although these vacations, road trips, and long drives can be very relaxing, they can actually be quite dangerous as well. Not only are U.S. roadways dangerous already due to distracted driving, various hazards, and poor weather and road conditions; improper trailer towing can have catastrophic results on the roads.

If you’re planning on hooking up a heavy trailer to your truck for the first time, you need to make sure you know what you’re doing in order to keep yourself, your family, your vehicle, your gear, and everyone else on the road safe. Before you go on an extremely long trip, you should practice driving around and learn how to effectively maneuver the trailer and the vehicle being towed. In addition to practicing your driving, utilizing trailer control devices are essential for safe towing.

Trailer sway control devices come in two basic types: those that start to reduce trailer sway once it has begun and those that work to prevent swaying from happening altogether. Keep in mind, additional weight distribution systems are recommended if the trailer’s weight is more than 50% of your vehicle’s weight.

Even minor windstorms can cause extreme dangers on the roadway for your trailer and towing vehicle. In fact, a 35-mile-per-hour crosswind could put as much as 3,440 pounds of force pushing on the side of the trailer, according to a study on commercial vehicle towing accidents by Knott Laboratory.

Trailer sway control hitches are great for correcting some of the weight issues that occur while driving down the road. Between 12% and 15% of the trailer’s weight should be resting on the towing vehicle’s hitch.

If you want to learn more about trailer sway control or find quality trailer sway prevention devices, give Hayes Towing Electronics a call right away.

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