Pat Hines (Traffic Safety Educator & Executive Director, SafeMoves) gives expert video advice on: What are the dangers of bicycle trailers? and more...
What is a "bicycle trailer"?
A bike trailer is a unit that connects to the back wheel and it's connected to the bike with a tether in case it becomes loosened from the axle. It's a little trailer that has some netting over it and two little bike wheels and a child will sit in there. There are some restraint straps in there. The manufacturers recommend that a child ride in the trailer with a helmet on. However, the trailer is very low to the ground and when a bike rider is riding, you can pull the weight. You can feel the weight and it slows you down a little bit, but it is connected to the bicycle.
What are the dangers of bicycle trailers?
The danger of a bicycle trailer, in my opinion, is that it's so low to the ground that a driver who is on the street as you are doesn't see the trailer. The driver sees you but doesn't see the trailer. Now, some trailers are fitted with flags; if flags created an awareness of drivers, then drivers in cars would have flags all over the place. That's not enough to alert a driver that there's a trailer on the ground. They're too low. I don't believe they're properly and safely made. I think that it's dangerous for a child to be back there while you're riding a bicycle for fun. It's just too dangerous and it's not enjoyable for the child. It's hot back there. They're feeling every bump to the road. Also, it wouldn't take a second for a car to turn in front of you and hit that trailer.