Trailer Safety in West Texas Can Save Lives - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Trailer Safety in West Texas Can Save Lives

Posted: Updated:
By: Justin Kree
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - There are many trailers on the roads in West Texas but are they properly secured? 300 motorists died on the roads in the United States last year from trailers becoming unhitched and running uncontrollably all over the road.

Those 300 people could have been saved if only the trailer was properly hooked up to the truck pulling it. NewsWest 9 spoke with two West Texas trailer companies Big-Tex Trailers and Y'All Haul Trailers to get a demonstration for new trailer owners. 

"It's extremely important that the trailer is hooked up correctly. It takes less than five minutes to hook up a trailer and it takes less than that to have it come off," Travis Bushman said.

Darrell Thornton with Big Tex Trailers showed NewsWest 9 the first step when purchasing a trailer and what to look for. The hitch and the ball which come in different sizes for different weight is crucial.  

"You want to make sure that what you bought is proper for what you will be towing," Thornton said.

Both Thornton and Travis Bushman with Y'All Haul trailers demonstrated how to hook up the trailer and one of the most important safety measures they can both agree on is the chains.

"When you put your safety chains on, you want to put the right side on the left side of your tow-vehicle. They have to be crossed, so if the trailer does come unhitched, it makes a cradle to keep it from digging into the ground," Thornton said.

"The important thing there is that we cross the chains, there is a law out that says we need to have them crossed, so we cross them," Bushman said.

That is correct, you will get a ticket in the state of Texas if your safety chains aren't crossed.

"When you look in the owners manual, there will be instructions, step-by-step as to what to look for," Thornton said.

One big mistake that trailer owners make is they are in a hurry. Owners need to make sure their hatch is fully secure on the ball.

Overall, you need to take the time before you take the journey so this year's number is lower than 300 deaths.

For further trailer safety or the rules of the road, you can call the Texas Secretary of State at (512) 463-5555.