We have written on numerous occasions about the dangers of towing U-haul trailers and tow dollies. Numerous deaths and serious injuries have resulted from the practice due either to mechanical issues or weight distribution issues that cause the towed unit to sway, leading to loss of control of the towing vehicle. This often results in serious accidents including rollovers. Our law firm is now investigating a claim on behalf of a client who was involved in an accident on a major interstate in Georgia while driving a U-haul rental truck. The front left tire failed causing the truck to crash into an interstate barrier. Although the client sustained serious injuries, fortunately, the median wall prevented the U-haul truck from crossing into oncoming traffic. Interestingly enough, we are also investigating a claim where a U-haul unit caused a vehicle to cross into oncoming traffic to strike a tractor trailer leading to the death of the driver towing the U-haul trailer.
With respect to U-haul trailers, it’s best not to tow them unless the towing vehicle is heavy enough to absorb the swaying of the U-haul trailer. If anyone must rent a U-haul truck it is wise to take the pre-trip inspection very seriously, focusing especially on the tires. Most conditions that cause tires to fail are not noticeable to a non-expert; however, tread depth of the tires is observable. The evidence we have reviewed so far reveals that the tread depth of at least two of the tires were unacceptable. Renters of U-haul equipment should carefully examine the unit being rented, including the tires, and if anything out of the ordinary is noticed, bring it to the attention of the rental specialist and if any safety issues are identified, refuse to rent that unit. If you need additional information on this subject, contact Kendall Dunson, a lawyer in our firm’s Personal Injury/Product Liability Section at 800-898-2034 or by email at Kendall.Dunson@beasleyallen.com.