If you drive a truck or SUV, you may have a tow hitch on the back bumper of your vehicle. Even if you use your hitch throughout the year, chances are high that you don’t think twice about your hitch while driving. However, there are both benefits and potentially dangerous drawbacks to having a tow hitch on your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know.
The Benefits of a Tow Hitch
According to the National Safety Commission, approximately 40% of vehicles on the road have a tow hitch. Most drivers with a towing option on their vehicle find the benefits easily – they are able to increase their storage options and bring along leisure items, like a boat or camper, to vacation. It has also been demonstrated that having a tow hitch can decrease potential damage caused when the car with the tow hitch is rear-ended.
Potential Dangers of Tow Hitches
As with most things, benefits come with drawbacks. If your vehicle has a tow hitch, the chances of whiplash during rear collisions increases significantly – by more than 20%, in fact. Any passenger in your vehicle would be susceptible to whiplash, but women and children are especially vulnerable to the condition, receiving whiplash nearly 2 times as often as their male counterparts. Since rear end collisions are the most common type of vehicle accident on the roads, driving with a tow hitch can be dangerous.
What to Do to Stay Safe
If you have a tow hitch, consider removing it from your vehicle during seasons when you are not actively using it. For example, removing it during the winter season sounds reasonable for someone who uses their hitch to tow their boat during the summer. This small task can keep the passengers of the vehicle safer, and while it may not remove the risk of a rear end collision, it can remove the increased odds of whiplash.
If you have been injured due to a rear end collision, or any vehicle accident, it can become easy to be overwhelmed with insurance paperwork and medical visits. Give the team at Grewer Law a call; we are ready to help you wade through the process and advocate for your best interests.