A leading cause of big rig accidents today is improperly secured cargo. Tractor trailers carry tens of thousands of pounds of goods every day, traveling at high rates of speed. When those loads are not properly secured within the truck, shifting weight, or even loose items, can cause dangerous conditions. Loss of control, and even items falling from trucks are common causes of injurious accidents that leave victims seeking the help of experienced truck accident lawyers.
Why Cargo Accidents Happen
There are many reasons why a truck’s cargo load cause big rig accidents. How cargo is loaded onto the truck is very important, since truck balance must be maintained to prevent tip-overs, loss of control, and other problems. Poor securement of cargo, or failure of that securement is another reason. In any case, when cargo ends up loose, sliding, or otherwise unbalancing the trailer, accidents can happen. In some cases, poorly secured cargo may even push through the rear doors of the trailer, and onto the roadway. Whether this is caused by oversight, negligence, or unexpected equipment failure - people end up hurt as a result.
Risks Caused by Improperly Secured Cargo
When large trucks travel at highway speed, anything carried within their trailers can very easily affect the momentum of that truck, and the control the driver has over it. It is essential for all loads to be secure so they do not shift, slide, or fall over while in transit, as this shift in weight can unbalance the entire trailer - causing the truck driver to lose control. This effect is amplified on curves, and slippery roads as well, making loss of control even more possible when loads are not secure.
Truck accident lawyers assert that loose and shifting cargo is one of the main reasons for truck accidents on the highways today. These incidents are a cause of serious injuries to those traveling in other vehicles that are involved in these accidents. Frequently, passenger vehicles are hit by trucks that are experiencing a loss of control due to cargo shifting. Many accidents are also caused by loose cargo falling from the backs of big rigs - either onto the roadway in front of passenger vehicles, or onto the vehicles themselves. Large items falling from trucks, at highways speeds, can be deadly if they hit another vehicle.
Federal Regulations on Cargo Securement
Based on scientific studies that explore how tractor trailers move at different speeds, and how cargo in the trailer, and the entire vehicle is affected, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) regulates cargo restraint in commercial vehicles. Depending on the type of trailer, the type of cargo, and the weight of that cargo - regulations dictate different means of restraint, and the materials used for restraints. All cargo must be either tied, chained, or strapped down to prevent movement on the truck. Any empty space on the truck must be filled with dunnage to help keep loads from shifting, and to maintain the truck’s balance.
It is every truck driver’s, and every commercial carrier’s duty to ensure the loads in their trucks are properly restrained to prevent big rig accidents. When truck accidents do occur because of improperly secured cargo, those injured in these accidents should discuss their injuries with experienced truck accident lawyers!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webser, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
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
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