Trucking accidents occur in many different ways and are sometimes caused by the most unexpected things. Trucking accident attorneys find that among the various reasons for these crashes, unsecured loads are responsible for a fair amount. Experienced drivers know that when heavy cargo is not properly loaded and secured, accidents can happen.
Consider the following information provided to drivers from other drivers and trucking accident lawyers and always ensure your load is well secured before you drive off.
Unsecured Loads Are Extremely Dangerous
An unsecured load of cargo on a big rig is dangerous for everyone on the road. If you are a driver, unsecured cargo presents a danger as you could be injured when opening your rear truck doors when delivering cargo. Trucking accident attorneys know that this also presents a danger to passenger vehicles sharing the road with trucks. People in these vehicles could be injured in trucking accidents caused by loose cargo falling out of trailers.
While unintentional accidents do happen, trucking accident lawyers find that most injurious cargo accidents happen when mistakes are made during the loading process. You can avoid these issues and keep yourself and everyone else on the road safe by observing a few simple tips such as those referenced below:
- Supervise the Loading of Your Trailer - Although the company loading your truck may have their own safety policies about who can assist them, always be there to observe and supervise. Make sure the cargo is properly packed and that the load has been balanced so it will not negatively affect the function of the truck.
- Be Aware of Loading Area Hazards - When loading requires the use of forklifts or other equipment or is done on special loading docks or other areas where hazards may be present, identify them and follow all safety precautions. Make sure the truck is level at the loading area and secured with wheel chocks so it stays stable throughout the process. Trucking accident attorneys point out that drivers and other workers can easily be injured during loading, so be cautious of hazards and practice safety.
- Secure the Load Yourself - Whenever possible, secure cargo throughout the packing process yourself so you know it has been done correctly. Use the straps, bars, and locks necessary to ensure your entire load is secure and will not shift as you are driving. Shifting inside the truck can potentially lead to trucking accidents if the cargo falls onto the rear doors and pushes them open. Trucking accident lawyers warn it is illegal to travel with a load not properly secured. As the driver, it is your responsibility to ensure all cargo is secure.
- Drive Cautiously - Drive cautiously and smoothly to prevent swaying, shifting, and other load problems. Avoid maneuvers that could cause the trailer to bounce, become unbalanced so it rolls over, or put excess strain on straps and bars, especially while accelerating or braking. Check your load frequently during your trip to ensure everything is secure.
- Open Doors Carefully - During load checks once you arrive at your destination, use caution when opening trailer doors. Slowly open one at a time and stand away from the door as it is opening in case something has shifted. After confirming that everything is stable, open the second door and assist with or monitor the unloading.
The important point that trucking accident attorneys and experienced drivers of commercial trucks stress is that you can never be too careful when it comes to securing your load. Loose, shifting, or unsecured cargo can result in trucking accidents that could hurt you and those who are driving around you.
Trucking accident lawyers suggest that all drivers take the time necessary to learn how to properly load and secure their trucks and check loads frequently while on the road. Everyone will end up safer in the long run!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190