Just a thought quoted here...
BREAKAWAY CONTROLLER REQUIRED:
A breakaway brake controller must be used so that all trailer brakes will be automatically applied in case of an accidental breakaway of the towed vehicle. This is required by all 50 states.
A typical electric breakaway controller has a sealed 12-volt gel cell battery and switch that are mounted on the trailer and wired into the brake circuit. The switch is connected to the towing vehicle by a small wire rope (the cable must be secured to the towing vehicle, not to
the safety chain nor any part of the hitch ball or ball mount). If the hitch separates or fails, the cable pulls the “key” from the switch, allowing the contacts to close and 12 volts will be applied to the
Adjust the length of the cable or lanyard from the key to the tow vehicle frame so that the brakes are applied before the safety chains break
. Regulations do not state whether the
brakes must apply before the safety chains break. However, if the brakes are applied and the safety chains hold, the emergency braking keeps the trailer directly behind the towing vehicle so you can stop under control. This also keeps the trailer from slamming into the rear of the tow vehicle, minimizing damage.
Should the safety chains fail before the brakes are applied (meaning your safety chains were not the right size or were improperly attached), the trailer ought to at least stop somewhere nearby, but it may collide with other vehicles before it stops.
Tennessee Code Annotated:
Definitions: (55-1-103, subpart (3))
Requirements for brakes: (55-9-204, subpart (a)).
Farm use exemption: (55-9-204 subpart (e))
Breakaway controller (55-9-204 subpart (c)(1))
Surge brakes: (55-9-204, subpart (c)(2))
Braking performance: (55-9-205, subparts (a), (d))
Parking brake: (55-9-205, subpart (b))
Brake maintenance: (55-9-205, subpart (e)) (Tennessee General Assembly Main Page
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations, 49 CFR 393, Subpart C
393.41 -- Parking brake system. 393.42 -- Brakes required on all wheels. 393.43 -- Breakaway and emergency braking. 393.48 -- Brakes to be operative. 393.49 -- Single valve to operate all brakes. 393.52 -- Brake performance.