I was prompted to share this story after seeing a post by the California Highway Patrol of Solano County with photos of a Porsche Cayenne on its roof while still attached to a travel trailer. I know this stretch of road pretty well.
So why might this crash have happened?
First of all, none of us were there. Secondly, I have seen images posted by drivers in similar incidents where someone just cut them off because they were angry that they weren’t going faster. There are so many realities that it’s unfair to judge based on a photograph.
I have a friend who is an accident investigator who works for insurance companies on a contract basis. I showed him these photographs. He said the first thing he would do is take the reports from the CHP and then weigh the vehicles in question.
Having spoken with the CHP of Solano county, the trailer was a 2019 Heartland Wilderness. The smallest of these is the M-2375BH at 28’ 9”, weighing in at 5,644 pounds with a hitch weight of 690 pounds dry. These numbers are within spec for the Cayenne depending on how the tow vehicle itself was loaded and how the trailer was loaded.
My friend the investigator would look at the capacities of the tow vehicle, as well. While the Cayenne is rated to tow 7,700 pounds, it also has a cargo carrying capacity. You add all the contents and passengers in the vehicle plus the tongue weight of the trailer to determine if it was loaded within specification. If the vehicle was overloaded weight-wise, he would recommend denying the insurance claim.
Of course the insurance company makes the final decision on this, but read that carefully. It isn’t only what the vehicle can tow. It’s also about cargo carrying capacity and vehicle loading.
Do you have any theories?