One of the most important safety issues surrounding the trucking industry is the safe loading of trucks. While not much thought might be given to truck loading by drivers in traditional small cars and light trucks, the safety of a commercial truck and the vehicles around it depends upon whether or not it was properly and safely loaded. There are many federal and state regulations and guidelines about the safe and proper loading of commercial trucks. The ability to keep cargo still and in place is absolutely essential for safe roadway travel. Cargo that slides around can push a truck off balance and put it at risk for a variety of different types of accidents, including jackknife.Proper Securing of Cargo
The proper securing of cargo starts at the loading dock. Anybody who is loading a truck needs to be properly trained and able to safely load and secure all cargo into a truck. Just because a truck is totally self-contained inside of the trailer, doesn’t mean there isn’t a very specific and safe strategy for loading. For example, it’s essential not to load a truck with too many heavy items high up. This can put a truck at a dangerous risk for a rollover accident. The load must also be properly distributed, or uneven wear to tires and other systems can occur. Finally, the minimum and proper use of tied owns and straps must be taken into account and applied.Unsecured Cargo on The Roadway
For trucks that aren’t totally self-contained, unsecured cargo on the roadway is a serious problem associated with the loading of trucks. This type of problem is typically seen with flatbed trucks or other types of commercial vehicles that have open-air containment systems. When these types of truck accidents happen, it’s usually due to inadequate or improper use of straps. Unsecured cargo can leave highways looking like mine fields. Try navigating rush hour with debris all over the roadway. Small items are bad enough to try to dodge safely, but what about when trucks lose larger items like furniture on roadways. You don’t even have to be going very fast for a large item in the roadway to create a severe or catastrophic accident.The Dangers of Shifting Cargo and Jackknife Accidents
Where enclosed tractor trailers are concerned, a huge problem with improperly loaded trucks is the potential for jackknife accidents. This type of accident happens when a load shifts unexpectedly and causes the trailer to shift away from the truck. A weight shift or cargo imbalance can easily throw a truck off balance. Shifting cargo can make even simple maneuvers difficult and dangerous. In very severe cases, the trailer will be turned at a 90-degree angle to the truck. If a semi truck is in a jackknife scenario, you could be looking at some pretty serious or catastrophic damage to any of the surrounding cars and trucks. Once a trailer begins to swing out of control, it can be nearly impossible for a driver to correct.Loading and Liability of Commercial Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all cargo in commercial vehicles be firmly immobilized or secured on or within the truck. This means that truck drivers and trucking companies have a duty to ensure they’re following the law and the safety regulations. If a driver, loader or company didn’t properly secure a load, they can be held liable for any damages associated with accidents that occurred as a result of that unsecured load. Truck drivers and commercial trucking companies owe a duty of safety to other motorists on the road. These vehicles are big enough with adding the additional danger of an unsecured load to the mix.When to Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Jackson
Initial accident investigators may not know what to look for where overloaded trucks are concerned, so it’s important to have a proven and experienced truck accident attorney on your side after an accident. If you suspect loading techniques were an issue in your accident, you need to call a lawyer immediate. If your car was crushed by a truck that toppled over, or if you were involved in an accident involving a jackknifed truck, there could have been improper loading involved, and your lawyer can stay abreast of any official investigative details and be your advocate. If you have been injured or if you have lost a family member or loved one in a truck accident, contact the skilled and experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free consultation today.