• Jan 22nd 2014 at 9:40AM
  • 222
An easily preventable accident left a woman devastated after a trailer became unhitched on the freeway.

Christy Cox's husband Jeremy was driving his SUV with their two children when a trailer in the lane next to them unhitched. It flew through the windshield and crushed the left side of the car. He and the couple's three-year-old daughter were killed instantly. Only her son survived the crash. The trailer was missing a safety pin and the safety chains required by law.

The Today Show's Rossen Reports investigated the consequences of improperly secured trailer hitches. In most states, two chains are required to keep a trailer hitch secured to a car, but Lt. Brian Orr of the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol told Rossen Reports unsecured trailers are common on roadways and extremely dangerous. Without the two security chains trailers can quickly become missiles, damaging anything in their path.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over 300 people have died since 2008 from improperly hitched trailers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just adding to conversation - Not only should the safety chains and emergency brake cable (for trailers with brakes) be properly connected, but make sure the trailer is properly loaded. If that trailer is improperly loaded, it can (and sometimes will) start swaying severely at highway speed.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Often the "swaying" you refer to is caused by excess speed. All commercially built trailers have the warning decal stating "55 MPH MAX" but you know how it is. That's only for the "other guy" to read and obey.
          • 1 Year Ago
          Adding to both of your conversations-"55 MPH MAX" is correct for the cargo pull behinds & which all travel trailers "SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE SWAY BARS ATTACHED TO THEM AT ALL TIMES". I've seen drivers speeding pulling a travel trailer & it's swaying bk & forth due that it doesn't have a sway bar attached..they put everyone else in danger when they do!
      • 1 Year Ago
      if your going to pull anything with your car you should have to get a endorsement like a motor cycle. and take a test to prove you know what the hell your doing. I drive a truck,and even after taking the test with a trailor, I still had to get one for HAZ MAT, TANKER, DOUBLES, MC. so whats wrong making people who are going to be pulling anything get an endorsement and prove they know what there doing.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Prayers with you, thank you for going public on this problem.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see them all the time -- bouncing around because they are not properly secured -- never thought anything about it until my husband pointed out how dangerous they can be. This just drives it home.
      • 1 Year Ago
      After reading several of these posts, I'm putting the locking links on my trailer chains. They screw shut and you use a wrench to completely tighten them, no hand tighten them. I'm heading to the hardware store, NOW. I won't haul my trailer until they are properly installed. I have chains, I have spring locks on my caribiners, but I'm getting better link locking caribiners.
      • 1 Year Ago
      my parents where on vacation and walking up a hill in a tourist area eating ice cream when a large trailer (car carrier type) detached from truck and rolled down the hill. Just missing them it crashed into the building at rhe bottom of the hill. i am so sorry for the above family .
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bottom line, those who cause this type of accident need to pay for it dearly!
      • 1 Year Ago
      all the way around sad. and where is the bone head that hooked it up!?? ! :(
        • 1 Year Ago
        That's what I was wondering. I've watched guys on occasion carelessly hook them up. I would have sued someone.
      • 1 Year Ago
      All 'accidents' are preventable. The human factor of error is the problem.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It should be a priority for police to scrutinize every trailer and stop the driver, ticket them and make sure the trailer doesn't go anwhere if it is not properly secured. Hope they are indeed doing that!
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am always cautious when pulling my camper, I always have at least person double check it and then always stop and triple check it before getting on the highway...or if i stop for gas etc! I'm overly cautious...
      • 1 Year Ago
      I saw this happen recently in Deming New Mexico. The trailer just fell off the truck and it was full of wood. The wood went everywhere. Fortunately no one was hurt but they could have been. The lady driving scrambled to pick up the wood and some guys helped her. But in her hurry to leave (she damaged a telephone pole and electrical box) she drove away with the crank down wheel dragging the ground. The trailer wasn't put back on with chains or anything.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Please tell us that you called the cops & got the license plate # so you could report this idiot!
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