Stay Alive at 55

In one of my earlier posts I said that in my opinion there were a lot of fools out there driving too fast while pulling a travel trailer… This week I have again proved my theory.

Between July 20th and July 26th, my job as a member of a wildland fire crew support team had me driving two round trips per day between Camino, CA and Crows Landing, CA.

During that time I saw FIVE serious accidents…. That’s F-I-V-E accidents, four of the five were travel trailers…

The first was a travel trailer laying on it’s side… the tow vehicle had been “tossed” over the side of the mountain, Yep, ... it had flipped over the guard rail and rolled down the side of the mountain.. God help the people that were inside the tow vehicle.. It’s a long way down at that particular place.

One mile farther there was another travel trailer laying on it’s side with the tow vehicle on it's top and still attached to the trailer .... guess what the tow vehicle was.. It was a mid-sized SUV !!! Dumb,Dumb,Dumb !!!

There were several firemen and paramedics treating the victims who were scattered around the grass median…. Among the victims there were several very small CHILDREN…

A mile farther along was another accident involving a travel trailer… same thing, trailer on it’s side and tow vehicle wrecked.

About two miles farther was still another travel trailer accident, like the last one

Then, just another 1/2 mile farther was an older model “muscle” car that had lost control and climbed the side of the hill that was the shoulder of the highway ... it made a perfect horseshoe circle on the side of the hill and then returned to the roadway where it “landed” on it’s front suspension system, totally wiping out the tires, linkage, bumper, etc…. The victim was being treated by paramedics

When I asked what happened, every answer was the same ... EXCESSIVE SPEED ....

All five accidents were caused by drivers driving well over the posted speed limit. The speed of each one was estimated at 65 to 70 mph

The speed limit in California for any vehicle pulling any trailer is 55 mph… These vehicles were traveling above the speed limit when they lost control….. I don’t like California for the most part, but when it comes to it’s traffic laws they are way ahead of the rest of the nation.

I have said it before and I still say .... that only a complete fool will purposely endanger themselves and their loved ones as well as the innocent person who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time by driving to fast and exceeding the posted speed limits.


Senior Member
Stay Alive at 55

While it may be the case that these people were going too fast (and were not overloaded), having split speed limits is not the answer. I'll bet a lot more accidents are caused by faster people losing patience with the slower ones than is caused by people exceeding the lower limit.


New Member
Stay Alive at 55

I would like to respond to what John Harrelson posted on July 26, 2003. First of all, he should get his facts straight before making asinine comments about accidents he obviously knows nothing about!!! In the SUV/trailer accident the traveling speed was 40-45mph. This was noted by several witnesses and also in the police report. Secondly, I can not believe he had the audacity to call the driver dumb. John knew nothing about the driver and should not have made comments like that. The deceased was a captain and 15 year veteran of the Foster City Fire Department. When it came to safety, he was fanatical. John, next time you post things make sure you get the facts straight and don't disrepect any more family members or fellow firefighters.
Stay Alive at 55

Now Mogul don't be too tough on John. I think the point he was trying to get across is Speed Kills ... Which it does. An accident at 50 or so may not kill you, the same accident at 70 may very well kill you ... or somebody else.

The combined weight of my pickup and 5th wheel is 20,000 pounds, or 10 tons. Thats a lot of weight to be going down the road at 55, let alone 75. When you factor in the fact the 5th wheel is 70% of that weight ... well thats the tail wagging the dog. So Hertig, if you ever find yourself behind me, I sure hope you pass safely, and believe me; I'll give you every opportunity to do so, but I ain't going over 55. Besides I'm retired; whats my hurry? :)


Senior Member
Stay Alive at 55

One, there is no indication in my append that I am subject to losing patience. I was just commenting on my opinion of split speed limits, and that is that they are probably more unsafe than one high speed limit. Everyone going slowly is the best scenario, but don't hold your breath.
Two, what makes you think you'll ever find me in California, where people who can't even spell or pronounce 'motor vehicle' will shortly be able to get a drivers license? :)
Stay Alive at 55

Excellent Point John! It'll be real interesting to see who the next gov. is. But I think the horse is been out of the barn for so long that he is long over the next hill; shutting the door won't help much.