Updated on: 6/25/2018
U-Haul, the nation's largest provider of rental trailers, claims to be "highly conservative'' when it comes to safety precautions. But a recent investigation revealed that company’s standard operating procedures actually increase the risk of towing accidents.
According to a recent investigation, U-Haul allows trailers remain in active use for months without thorough inspections which is a violation of company’s official policy. Bad brakes are also a common problem with the company's larger-sized trailers and its midsize trailers have no brakes at all.
Compounding the issue is the fact that U-Haul allows customers to pull trailers that are heavier than the weight of the towing vehicle despite the fact that the safest way to tow is with a vehicle that weighs much more than the trailer. These allowances conflict with safety recommendations of many auto manufacturers.
As a result trailers are often known to swing and jolt violently when drivers travel downhill or are shaken by a sharp turn which in turn leads to serious accidents. The company's tow dollies used to pull vehicles are also vulnerable to sway.
L.A. Times Investigation Reveals Risks
The Los Angeles Times conducted a year-long investigation into U-Haul's rental practices conducting more than 200 interviews and a reviewing of thousands of court records, police reports, consumer complaints, etc.
U-Haul believes that many customers load trailers, load them incorrectly, don’t balance their loads properly, drive too fast or fail to follow safety instructions. But the company’s distribution of the U-Haul user guide/safety manual is very poor — in fact, many renters never receive the materials in the first place. And the company frequently rents trailers to novice drivers.
U-Haul also claims that drivers towing its trailers are less likely to crash than other drivers because people drive more cautiously when moving their families and belongings.
Seattle personal injury attorney Chris Davis disputes the company’s claims that its trailers and tow dollies are safe. As an experienced and reputable lawyer in Washington state, he has seen numerous motor vehicle accidents that involve rental trailers and dollies and has helped many clients get excellent results in their accident injury claim.