U-Haul Trailers

posted on:
May 21, 2007

author:
Staff

What are the dangers associated with U-Haul trailers?

Thousands of innocent people have been killed or seriously injured when a U-Haul trailer caused their vehicle to overturn. The firm has handled multiple cases against U-Haul and is aware of other incidents as well. Each case occurred under almost the exact same circumstances: a U-Haul trailer is rented by a customer and connected to an SUV. When traveling down a slight decline, the trailer begins to sway back and forth until the swaying has enough energy to force the SUV to lose control and roll over.

Each case the firm has handled resulted in the death of at least one individual. The U-Haul trailers are defective because they expose innocent customers to the likelihood of death and/or serious bodily injury.

U-Haul is well aware of the risks, because the company has been sued countless times for wrongful death and personal injury. U-Haul has failed to address the weight distribution issue, has failed to add adequate safety devices to prevent trailer swaying and/or has failed to properly maintain its fleet of over 19,000 trailers in reasonable working condition.

One of the problems with U-Haul’s policy of renting its trailers to SUV owners is a simple issue of weight. The towing vehicle, SUV or other 4-wheel vehicle, must sufficiently outweigh the trailer to allow the towing vehicle to control the trailer.

U-Haul is the only company in the United States of America that allows customers to rent its trailers to be pulled behind a SUV. U-Haul’s competitors, recognizing the weight distribution problem, require customers to pull their trailers with a heavy 6-wheel vehicle. U-Haul’s fleet of trailers used to have a decal that read “for use behind six wheel vehicle only.” U-Haul changed that policy, giving it a monopoly on the profits gained by renting trailers to customers using SUVs.

In one of the cases the firm handled against U-Haul we learned that U-Haul used to require a 2:1 ratio between the towing vehicle and the trailer. Stated differently, the towing vehicle must weigh twice as much as the trailer and its contents. To increase rentals, U-Haul lowered that ratio from 2:1 to 1:1. This change decreased stability and increased accidents.

In addition to renting to SUV owners and reducing its weight ratio, U-Haul has failed to incorporate adequate safety measures that could reduce or eliminate U-Haul trailer-caused rollovers. An independent braking system on the trailer would assist the towing vehicle in controlling the trailer.

U-Haul chose not to incorporate independent braking systems to avoid maintenance costs. At one time, U-Haul used brakes but removed them from their fleet of trailers. Once again, U-Haul with full knowledge of the consequences of its actions, made a decision that placed profits over safety.

In addition to policy changes affecting the weight distribution between the towing vehicle and the trailer and removing brakes from its trailers, U-Haul does not always properly maintain its trailers. The condition of the trailer, its tires and its connection package are very important.

One of the cases the firm handled against U-Haul revealed that the company’s maintenance program left a lot to be desired. A poorly maintained trailer is just as likely to cause an accident as the weight distribution problem or the absence of brakes.

The only remedial measure the firm is aware of U-Haul implementing to prevent these serious accidents is to change its rental policy to prevent customers from using Ford Explorers to pull their trailers. U-Haul made this change after the firm settled a wrongful death case against the company.This simple policy change will not prevent accidents because U-Haul trailers have caused other SUVs and 4-wheeled vehicles other than the Ford Explorer to roll over.

U-Haul is simply placing profits over safety. In the face of overwhelming evidence that their trailers are killing their customers, U-Haul continues to follow its same deadly policies of renting to SUV owners, not incorporating adequate safety measures and failing to properly maintain its fleet of trailers.

We cannot force U-Haul to adopt policies that will increase safety and reduce profits. We will, however, continue to take the fight to U-Haul to force them, through our capable jury system, to examine and hopefully rectify their hazardous practices.

What can I do if I have been injured as the result of a U-Haul trailer?

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as the result of a U-Haul trailer, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free legal consultation, contact us today!

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At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.
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