This article originally featured in the July 2022 issue.
My daughter frantically called me the other day after a vehicle had run into her while she was driving to school. She was understandably upset: as a teenage driver it was the first time she had ever been involved in an accident. She was stopped at a light and the guy behind her must have had his foot slip because without warning he smacked her truck really good. Luckily there was no damage, just some scratches on her tow hitch. His vehicle wasn’t nearly as lucky.
Her accident reminded me of an email I received that wasn’t intended as a joke–at least I don’t think it was–yet made me laugh hard. At the risk of sounding like an insensitive redneck, the email I received a few years back was from a guy in Texas who was pleading with me to help his cause against the use of trailer hitches. To say the least, his email had me laughing out loud.
His request was a simple one, to please consider including an article on the “virtues of removing the trailer hitch between uses.” That’s an actual quote from him and for the record, there is no way I would have chosen the word “virtue” here.
First of all, I always thought it was against the law to live in Texas and NOT own a truck. But I guess the reality is that not everyone does. In any case, if I drove an Escort I wouldn’t be emailing truck magazines.
This guy actually created a web page to document his encounter with an F250 Super Duty’s hitch. His website, complete with photos of his beloved Escort of course, goes into great detail on why trailer hitches should be removed when not being used for towing.
I guess my problem with his thinking is where he’s putting the blame for his fender-bender. After all, similar to the guy who hit my daughter, he was the one who rear-ended the truck, so shouldn’t it be the truck owner who should be campaigning to keep Escorts from running into him? If he truly wants to protect his over-sized go-kart, he should start by paying attention when he’s on the road.
I hear all the time of people leaving their hitches on just to protect their trucks against inattentive drivers hitting them from behind. I know I do. So to get this email with a web link from a man determined to get the word out against hitches, well, it made me laugh.
Seriously, there are a lot better issues in the world to fight for. We’re not talking about trying to get fresh water to some remote African village. We’re talking about an Escort owner who needs to find a hobby or a tougher car.
I considered running his website info, but figured I had already made fun of him enough. Besides, I don’t want to give any more attention to a guy who goes on the attack with his website by starting out with, “For those members of the human race who can't go a week without fantasizing about how cool it would be if a sub-compact car was to skewer itself on the trailer hitch of their pickup.” Well at least he has a sense of humor, I think.
He claims he was only going eight miles an hour, but both airbags did deploy, which makes his story even funnier. Sorry Mr. Texas Escort, I won’t be able to help you with your fight against hitches. Instead, I’m just going to pass along the “virtues” of [leaving] trailer hitches on between uses to protect trucks from distracted drivers looking to place blame somewhere other than on themselves.