Trucking is an essential part of this nation’s economy and one of the primary ways that consumer goods make it to their intended destinations – but the pressure is often high to get loads delivered on time.
That pressure sometimes leads to shoddy loading practices, and improper loading can easily lead to a crash. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) outlines cargo securement rules that truckers and loading docks are expected to follow, and which provide some insight into the ways that loading errors cause wrecks.
Trucks have weight limits for a reason. When a semi is overloaded, it can be difficult for drivers to properly control their vehicles and cause longer stopping distances, both of which can increase the risk of rear-end collisions and jackknife accidents.
Improper weight distribution
Cargo is supposed to be distributed evenly throughout a vehicle, and truckers are expected to make sure that the job is done correctly before they hit the road. If a trucker is in a rush and this isn’t done, it can be harder to navigate when the vehicle is turning or changing lanes without undue danger.
Poorly distributed weight and unsecured cargo can suddenly shift during transport and cause the truck to become unstable. A shift in the load can cause the truck to tip over or jackknife, and even throw its cargo into the path of other vehicles on the road.
This is a big problem with construction materials, including steel beams and heavy logs, which often extend beyond the truck’s trailer. Defective straps and straps that are improperly secured can pull loose, sending those loads onto nearby vehicles. Overhanging cargo can also obscure the driver’s vision, making it harder to see smaller vehicles on the road.
An accident with a semi or another kind of truck can be vastly more devastating than a wreck with another passenger car, and the cause of the crash isn’t always easy to discern. If you have been hurt or your loved one was killed in a truck accident, you have every right to seek legal guidance to hold those responsible accountable for your losses.