How Keeping Control of Truck Cargo Keeps Other Motorists Safe
If parts of a load fall while the vehicle is in motion they could hit another car or cause an accident as drivers swerve to avoid hitting it.
When you hear about a truck accident, you are not likely to consider its cargo. Most people outside of the trucking industry have no idea how a tractor trailer is loaded and how important this is to road safety. So important in fact, that it is part of the mandated regulations handed down by the federal government.
Securing Truck Cargo
Flatbed trucks are used most often to transport large loads of lumber, logs or metal pipes. Laws regarding how these items are loaded are very specific and detail exactly what kind of materials may be used to tie them down and how many are acceptable in relation to the weight or size of the items. For example, lumber that is longer than 5 ft must be secured with two tie downs for the first 10 ft and one more for every additional 10 ft. Long cargo, such as logs or pipes may not extend 4 ft beyond the bumper and have a warning device such as a reflective triangle or lights attached to warn drivers that they are beyond the bumper of the truck.
A woman in Missouri was left blind in one eye due to a rear end collision with a flatbed truck that was hauling wood. The brake and taillights of the truck were not working properly so the driver did not see the truck stopped in front of her until it was too late. Part of the cargo went through the windshield and struck the woman in the face. The trucking companies insurance settled the case for $800,000 when questions arose from the defense about whether the wood was secured properly and whether or not it went past the bumper of the truck.
Dangers of Falling Cargo
Falling cargo is another hazard of flatbed trucks. If parts of a load fall while the vehicle is in motion they could hit another car or cause an accident as drivers swerve to avoid hitting it. If your car accident was a result of falling cargo, you should speak with an accident attorney. Chances are, the drivers load was not in compliance with the law and you should be compensated for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Cargo Inside the Truck
Cargo inside a box trailer is also required to be secured inside. Special attention is placed on the distribution of weight as it is being loaded so as not to throw off the trucks center of gravity. If the cargo begins to shift during transport, the truck could rollover or a jackknife accident can occur. Early this past November a Nebraska truck driver died in northern Missouri when a shift in the load he was carrying caused him to lose control of the truck and crash into a tree.
Accidents with semi trucks and trailers are very complicated cases. There are numerous reasons why a driver or trucking company could be held liable. If you or a family member is hurt in a truck driving accident, bring the details of the collision to a Missouri truck accident attorney at the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm. They are well versed in the laws governing the trucking industry and can help you determine if a violation contributed to the collision.
To speak with a Truck Accident Lawyer, call (314) 588-7200.
photo credit: 2sirius
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