Trailers are a common sight on just about every South Dakota roads, and they can be dangerous.
A Sioux Falls radio talk show host has seen the effects trailer-towing negligence can have on a family. That's why he teamed up with KELOLAND News for a demonstration on what can go wrong when towing a trailer or boat.
Shannon Nordstrom is the co-host of a popular car-talk radio show called "Under The Hood." When we asked him to help us show what happens when a trailer isn't hooked up properly, he was in.
"It's good to be involved and help with, whether it be a news crew or radio crew, provide some equipment. It's something that, as often as we can, we're willing to do within reason," Nordstrom said.
Nordstrom donated a trailer and demonstrated a proper and improper hookup on a closed course supervised by the Highway Patrol. One of his past employees was affected by a trailer crash as he and his wife were on their way back from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is why Nordstrom is happy to volunteer his time.
"Repairs that came undone and it went across the lane and hit her car directly on and he lost his wife in that accident. It was a terrible situation for his family and obviously as the employers, we were affected too but not near as much as the family was. Just a horrible situation caused by trailer-towing negligence," Nordstrom said.
Nordstrom says it's important to have a hitch that can handle the trailer's weight, have proper weight distribution and the correct sized ball and coupling among other things. If you don't, you could have a runaway.
"Because that trailer weighs probably 4,000 to 5,000 pounds and that's as much as the car that it's going to impact. That would just be a terrible situation. There's nothing worse than me looking in my mirror, if this would have been real, and seeing that trailer taking off and knowing there's nothing I could have done about it," Nordstrom said.
You can see more of the demonstration and tips from the Highway Patrol in tonight's EYE on KELOLAND. Also, hear from Roger Hopf. He lost his wife when a back-heavy trailer came loose on the road.