Iowa State Patrol Stressing Trailer Safety

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The warmer weather has a lot of people in spring cleaning mode. For many, that means cleaning up and hauling trash to the dump. According to the Iowa State Patrol, those trips are becoming more and more dangerous.

Of all the tickets issued by the Iowa State Patrol involving trailers, 20% of them are issued in the month of April.

We tracked down Sgt. Nathan Ludwig with the Iowa State Patrol to ask him a few questions about trailer safety.

What are the most common issue troopers see on the road involving trailers?

“They see a fair amount either improperly loaded or overloaded. We also see trailers with an unsecured cargo load. I would say 90-95% of the ones involved in an accident have something hooked up on them improperly,” said Sgt. Ludwig.

What are some of dangers of having a trailer hook-up improperly?

“They don’t have safety chains. That is a very common issue with trailers. Again, we see both overloaded or improperly loaded trailers. The danger in that is the trailer can sway back & forth, potentially causing the hitch to become unhooked,” said Sgt. Ludwig.

What are the fines for trailer related issues?

“The fines vary but they are expensive. Failure to use required towing equipment $107.25. Anything related to oversized vehicle or trailer is $330. Losing cargo or spilling or spilling on the highway $330,” said Sgt. Ludwig.

What should I do if my vehicle is stuck by an object from trailer?

“Call 911, don’t wait to report it.   Be as descriptive as possible. Make sure to give the trooper the location, direction of travel and what cargo was lost.   If your car does not become disabled try to get a license plate.  Don’t try to solve the issue yourself, call law enforcement,” said Sgt. Ludwig.