Traffic Safety Initiatives: Proper Trailer Loading Important to Prevent Trailer Sway-Related Crashes

Trailer towing is more popular than ever. A person can’t watch a sporting event on television without multiple commercials touting the ability of a given vehicle to tow more and more weight. Given the popularity of towing, the automobile industry has focused significant time on creating and updating trailer towing performance standards to ensure road safety for both drivers towing trailers and the drivers around them. Despite these efforts, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently released statistics indicating that overall traffic fatalities and traffic crashes are on the rise.1 This article attempts to shed some light on improper trailer loading—one of the leading causes of tow vehicle-trailer combination incidents—and educational efforts to reduce those incidents, as well as available aids to law enforcement investigating vehicle combination crashes.