Truck drivers and commercial trucking companies must follow rules and regulations for safe loading of cargo. There are weight limits on the amount of cargo a truck can carry. Rules also regulate how cargo must be loaded and secured. These rules exist to try to reduce the chances of crashes happening due to problems with the cargo that a truck driver is transporting.
Unfortunately, the rules are not always followed and sometimes truckers load cargo onto their vehicles in unsafe ways. This can create a serious risk of truck collisions occurring and causing harm to the truck driver and to other motorists on the road.
Truckers need to take responsibility for loading safely and trucking companies must ensure the truckers they employ follow all the rules, regulations, and best practices to avoid truck accidents. Both truckers and trucking companies can be held legally responsible for crashes that result due to a failure to safely load cargo.
Common types of truck accidents that can occur due to problems loading cargo include:
- Rollover accidents: The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine indicated rollover accidents were among the most likely type of truck crash that occurs due to problems with cargo loading. Both overloading and improper loading can increase the chances of a rollover. In particular, this type of crash is especially likely to occur if a truck is too heavy or if cargo is secured too high up.
- Tire blowouts: When a truck is overloaded or the cargo is not balanced properly, it is possible that the added weight could adversely affect the way the truck drives. For example, a tire blowout could be more likely to occur due to the added weight. Blowouts are a serious emergency that can cause a truck driver to experience a complete loss of control.
- Collision caused by falling cargo: If cargo is not secured properly on a commercial motor vehicle, it is possible that items could fall off or fly off the vehicle. This can be dangerous for surrounding cars, pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorcyclists. If the cargo hits someone or creates an obstacle in the road that a driver cannot get around, this creates a substantial collision risk.
An overloaded truck that is heavier is also going to take longer to stop when the trucker his the brakes, since the truck has more momentum. The added weight also enhances the impact of a crash, thus creating an enhanced risk of injury or death in a crash that involves a trucker with a load that is too large.
If you or your loved one was involved in one of these types of crashes, or was hurt in any kind of truck accident caused by driver negligence or by trucking company carelessness, you should make certain to get legal assistance to hold the trucking company accountable.