The proper loading of commercial motor vehicles is one of the most important safety issues that truck drivers and trucking companies must address. There are strict rules and regulations regarding how a truck must be loaded in order to reduce the chances of accidents happening. In fact, there are so many issues related to safe loading of trucks that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides a 13-chapter handbook for commercial truck drivers to learn best practices for safe cargo loading.
The reason there are so many rules surrounding cargo loading on trucks is because the consequences can be very serious if the loading process is not done properly. An improperly loaded truck can cause many different kinds of accidents, endangering the trucker and every other motorist on the road.
When a truck is poorly loaded and a collision happens, accident victims can obtain compensation for losses if they can prove the trucker was negligent in safe loading or if they can prove the truck driver failed to follow FMCSA regulations. An experienced truck accident attorney can provide assistance in demonstrating how an accident occurred so a victim can earn the right to be compensated for losses.
Loading problems can involve improperly securing a load, failing to balance a load or overloading a truck beyond capacity. The consequences of overloading and improper loading can include the following:
- Cargo could fall off the truck, hitting other cars or creating an obstacle that other motorists have to get around. Sometimes, falling debris can block the vision of another driver. This can result in an accident if a driver cannot see, his truck is hit by cargo, or has to swerve to avoid fallen cargo on the road.
- Cargo could shift around on the truck if it is not properly secured. This could increase the chances of a rollover crash and/or could cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Overloaded cargo could result in a tire blowout, causing loss of control of the truck.
- Overloaded cargo could create more momentum, resulting in a longer truck stopping distance, and causing a truck driver to crash into a vehicle in front of him.
- Overloaded cargo could make a truck even more top heavy than it naturally is and could result in a truck rollover accident. Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine warns that cargo problems of all types significantly increase rollover risks.
With so many different kinds of accidents that can happen, it should come as no surprise that Trucking Info explains that loading problems are one of the leading causes of accidents with commercial trucks. Every victim of an accident should consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer in order to determine if a cargo problem was the cause of the harm they endured.