Mobile, Alabama


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Billy Cunningham
Billy Cunningham
Attorney • (800) 574-4332

Trailers Can Maim and Kill


After my last post regarding awnings separating from RVs, http://mobile.legalexaminer.com/defective-and-dangerous-products/rv-awnings-can-become-missiles.aspx?googleid=306504, I received an email from Ron J. Melancon who is the Founder/President of Dangerous Trailers.org. He brought to my attention the number of injuries and deaths caused by trailers coming loose from the towing vehicle. I learned some scary things about trailers, the lack of standards, the lack of government control or interest and even worse the number of unnecessary injuries and deaths caused by trailers. I encourage you to go to the Dangerous Trailers.org webpage and learn more for yourself. http://www.dangeroustrailers.org/

Among the sad stories of lost lives and serious injuries, the website offers two books by the Purdue University Extension Service that can be downloaded for free: “Keep the Trailer Connected to the Truck-Understanding the ‘Hitch’ System” and “The Tractor Hitch Pin- A Critical Component in Keeping Control of Implements.” Both books give excellent safety advice on towing trailers or farm implements. They also provide photographs of the disastrous consequences when safety precautions are not taken or improper equipment is used in towing.

Dangerous Trailers.org also keeps up with trailer accidents in the various states. For example, it reports over 1,000 trailer accidents in Alabama. Those accidents include deaths. Dangerous Trailers.org has followed trailer related accidents in the news media as well as gathered information from the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA). It reports that since 1975 over 15,010 people have been killed and since 1988 over 451,050 people have been injured by trailers. These numbers are shocking. There are simple safety rules that can be employed that would have prevented many of these accidents.

I would encourage all trailer owners or implement haulers to visit the webpage http://www.dangeroustrailers.org/ and review their information so you can be aware of the dangers when towing equipment. Learn how to protect your trailer from coming off. Nobody wants to be the cause of an incident that kills or seriously injures innocent people.


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  1. Ron Melancon says:
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    This lawyer is courageous….and needs to be commended. Not all lawyers are out to get the insurance company’s for no reason. This attorney believes in saving lives that for some reason our own Government has “Lanced” us…..what is “Lanced” mean…..it is the art of getting quashed when you are trying to expose the truth.
    Just like Lance Armstrong who used his power and money to destroy people who were trying to expose the truth our own Government has prevent us….from saving lives due to Utility Trailers that have no national standards.

    The Canadian Government knows this…and this is the fact….wake up.

    July teleconference, horse trailer standards
    Standards Association. The CSA is interested in the possibility of
    establishing standards for horse trailers.

    As noted at the Animal Transportation Association Vancouver 2012
    international conference on horse transport, the lack of standards in
    the manufacture of non-commercial horse trailers contributes to injury
    and death of horses and humans. Your USRider on-going study of over 800
    known trailer incidents reveals poor quality materials including tires,
    wiring, braking performance, instability at highway speeds, poor welds,
    trailer skin so thin it can be punched through with a fist, shifting
    loads, mismatch between trailer and tow vehicle, tow vehicle and trailer
    separation, overloading, no mandatory recall on defective parts, and
    horses thrown or falling from the trailer and posing an additional road

    As well, few trailers meet the Five Freedoms endorsed by animal welfare
    interests: providing an environment conducive to normal behavior, rest,
    drinking and eating, and which minimizes the risk of injury, mental or
    physical distress, or disease.

    Currently, there are no standards in North America for manufacturing
    horse trailers. To the best of my knowledge, standards are also
    non-existent in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.

    With your help, the CSA will explore the level of interest among
    stakeholders for supporting a research effort into establishing
    standards for horse trailer design and structure. Part of the effort
    might include minimum braking performance, minimum wiring standards and
    protection of horse and human life during typical highway incidents such
    as occur at intersections, collisions, and roll-overs.

    These Standards would provide an informed basis for manufacturing,
    insurance, regulatory, animal welfare and public interests to compare
    trailer quality and engineering. They would level the playing field
    among manufacturers. No longer would a trailer dealer be able to tell
    the naive buyer that the reason the trailer top is so flimsy is because
    “It is better for horses to be thrown from a trailer in an accident.”

    Should the project to develop a Standard proceed following the
    feasibility study, the Standard will not become enforceable until it is
    referenced in a contract, in legislation, by being adopted by insurance
    issuers or underwriters or by Transport Canada or a similar authority.

    Your participation is vital. Before the CSA can become involved with a
    feasibility study, it needs to determine in this conference call the
    level of support, both volunteer and monetary, from the stakeholders.

    If the feasibility study is approved and indicates that there is a need,
    the next step will be to set up a standards development project. The CSA
    is the project manager but only the expert technical committee decides
    on the content of the Standard. If further applied research is required
    the work may contracted to a qualified test facility.

    Those few trailer manufacturers who have already applied testing
    standards to their product could likely save the technical committee
    much time. But the committee would need to judge the validity of the tests.

    We look forward to consulting with you. This is followed by
    further details of the CSA’s role and the equipment required for your
    participation in the teleconference.

    An agenda will be circulated to confirmed
    participants prior to the teleconference. Confirmed participants will
    also receive a biographical sketch of each of the participants prior to
    the teleconference.

  2. Ron Melancon says:
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    Today…we have two more accidents….with trailers. You have got to understand that if our Government can ground the 787 over safety concerns than how about Utility Trailers that have so many defects that their floors simply fall apart?
    We have no national recall system to notify consumers that YOUR FLOOR OF YOUR CRAPPY UTILITY TRAILER WILL FALL APART!!!


    . There really isn’t a perfect time, but Friday around noon when you have a 5:00 deadline a few hours away is quite a ways down the list. What could happen is that the floor completely disintegrates and more or less becomes a trap door. Over an open pit, that could work, but this wasn’t every episode of “Gilligan’s Island.” This was the episode where the high-dollar animal falls through the floor and then becomes a really, really low-dollar animal in a matter of seconds. Make as many visits as you want, but you probably won’t find many bull studs where they wheel out the collection candidates/amputees on a gurney or in a wheelchair for the task at hand. The bulls need to be mobile. That means four good legs, fully intact and functional.

  3. Ron Melancon says:
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    Where is the Product Liability Lawyers?