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Safety chains prevent near-miss accident in MHP video

Posted at 4:02 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 18:16:20-05

One of our troopers captured this footage of a an incident where a crash was likely avoided thanks to safety chains when a trailer became unhitched from its vehicle. According to Montana law, a cable or chain must be securely fastened to the towing unit. Do you have any near-miss stories like this?

Posted by Montana Highway Patrol on Friday, March 1, 2019

On Saturday morning, the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) posted a video to Facebook showcasing an incident in which safety chains prevented a near-disastrous collision. MHP wrote, “One of our troopers captured this footage of an incident where a crash was likely avoided thanks to safety chains when a trailer became unhitched from its vehicle.”

The post continued, “According to Montana law, a cable or chain must be securely fastened to the towing unit.”

The Montana Department of Transportation legitimizes this sentiment on its website. “Tire chains may be required at any time, anywhere in the state of Montana,” MDT says. “They are required on the mountain passes when the chain up sign is posted.”

MDT further elaborates, “When the department of transportation determines that chains or traction equipment are required, it applies to both semis and tow-units on the driver wheels of one axle.”

Title 61, Chapter 9, Section 6(a) of Montana code specifically established that “on a trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer weighing 3,000 pounds or less […] on the front, a steel safety chain or cable […] must be securely fastened to the towing unit with the minimum diameter of any portion of the chains or cables being one-fourth of an inch.”

This precaution is meant to protect precious cargo, whether vehicles or the individuals operating them. MHP encouraged Montanans to post on its Facebook page and recount personal stories in which a safety chain saved one or more lives.

“Do you have any near-miss stories like this?” MHP asked.