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OTHER ITA SITES:
The Most Common Trailer Hitch Mistake
Driving Without Your Ball Mount!
Go Ahead Hit Me…
Although I don't condone you drive around with your ball mount when you're not pulling a trailer (and some states are working on legislation to prevent this) there are two reasons why thousands of people do:
#1. It paints a nasty mental picture that states if you hit me you'll pay the price (and you will) ...
#2. People who tow know the strength of a receiver hitch.
On most vehicles the receiver hitch is tucked behind and below the bumper. If you get rear ended or you back into something, your cheesy plastic or chrome bumper and expensive sheet metal get smashed first before it hits the receiver hitch. But, if you leave your ball mount in, that added extension might be just enough to take a 2-3 mph direct hit without damage.
Today, the lightest tap from a vehicle can leave damage from $450 to over $2,000 damage. The average cost to repair a plastic bumper is $450 and the average cost to replace a plastic bumper is $900. And if you have a vehicle with a backup alarm you're looking at twice that amount.
There are over 12 million rear-end collisions in the USA every year – both reported and unreported and over 8 million plastic bumpers are replaced each year. The rear end collision accounts for 38% of all the dollars paid for automobile claims and you can't afford to make a claim any more. The typical insurance premium will increase 40% if a claim is made.
Why It’s Not A Good Idea
But, according to Jeff Mohr, CEO of Mohr Mfg and superbumper.com: "the major drawbacks for leaving your ball mount in are that it may be illegal in some states and it will impale anything you back into when you're parallel parking, (so that strategy could backfire on you and end up costing you money). Also, it's only 2 inches wide so it does not cover much area and, if it's hit it will bend your receiver hitch because there's no give while transferring all of the impact energy directly to the vehicle and occupants. And on unibody vehicles it will tear the floor pan because it doesn’t absorb any crash energy."
There are thousands of uninsured, distracted, inattentive drivers, drivers with poor judgment and lousy-stinking parallel parkers out there just trying to wreck your vehicle, cripple your family, steal your deductible and jeopardize your insurance. And, since you pull a trailer less than 1% of the time, it makes sense to use the other 99% to protect your rear.
The two most frequent vehicle accidents are getting hit while parked and the rear end collision. There are other products on the market today that can utilize the strength of your receiver hitch, are energy absorbing and will protect your family, vehicle and insurance better then the ugly old ball mount.
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