If you are planning to go on a road trip, then you need to get everything in order first. Jumping into things blind can lead to disaster. If you are not sure of all of the requirements that come with towing a trailer, then serious legal ramifications can come your way. Unfortunately, this can be tricky as most states have entirely different legal requirements for towing a trailer. Here is what you will need to know before getting onto the road!
Most towing laws differ by state; however, there are a couple of universal laws. The following are requirements that are present in every state. As such, you cannot overlook these without breaking the law.
Towing a trailer means obstructing the view of your own vehicle’s lights. Because of this, it is imperative that your trailer has its own set of tail lights. This will increase your safety on the road and prevent accidents from occurring.
License Plate Lights
License plate lights are mandatory if you want to be street-legal. Clearly illuminating your license plate can alert the public and authorities if something goes wrong. These lights need to be strong enough that your license plate is readable as far as fifty feet from the rear.
These next requirements tend to be a common theme throughout the states. Although not present everywhere, you should double-check your state’s policy on these.
Adding brake lights to your trailer will keep vehicles from rear-ending you. It is a dangerous game to leave brake lights off your vehicle. You are essentially giving the driver no heads-up. This can catch an unsuspecting driver off-guard and cause an accident.
Just like with brake lights, turn signals exist to help other drivers around you. It can be tough to know what a towed trailer is going to do next, so it is good to give the people around you as much time as possible to react accordingly.
In keeping with the theme of visibility, reflectors are required by many states. They will help drivers get an idea of what it is they are driving next to. The dimensions of your vehicle will be displayed clearly, and you will be able to rest easy knowing that.
Safety chains are a great backup plan if the hitch fails while you are on the road. By no means will they replace the hitch, but it will prevent a pile-up from happening. These chains cross over in the shape of an x, connecting the towing vehicle to the trailer.
As mentioned above, safety chains are by no means a solution for a bad hitch. You need to make sure that the hitch you have will hold up no matter the conditions. Investing in one that is durable and sleek will improve your road trips drastically.
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