Different Causes of Truck Accidents: Shifting or Falling Cargo

Every year, thousands of tractor trailer accidents and large truck accidents are caused by improperly secured loads.  In one scenario, these accidents occur when cargo inside a trailer or on the bed of the truck has not been properly secured and shifts while the truck is in motion. The other common scenario is when the unsecured cargo falls off the back of a truck into the roadway.  When an unbalanced or unsecured load shifts when a truck makes a turn, it can cause the truck driver to lose control or even tip over.  Transporting cargo in the back of open trailers is particularly hazardous.  For example, logs that are not properly secured can fall off the truck and strike nearby vehicles.  Heavy equipment inadequately secured to the trailer bed can slide into the roadway and cause serious accidents.

Truck drivers and their employers are responsible for making sure that all loads are properly secured.

In order to avoid these potentially deadly semi truck accidents, a truck driver needs to understand what cargo he is transporting and its weight.  Then, the driver must ensure that the cargo is safely loaded and secured before driving on public roadways.

In 2002, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published new rules governing cargo with the purpose of reducing the number of highway accidents caused by shifting or falling loads.  The FMCSA rules regulate that a tractor trailer’s cargo must be balanced and secured in order to maximize the truck’s stability and maneuverability on the road.  If a truck driver fails to comply with these federal requirements and causes a truck accident, then the trucker and the trucking company can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

If you or a member of your family has been injured in an accident involving shifting or falling cargo from a tractor trailer, you should consult an experienced trucking accident attorney immediately.

Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen are one of Virginia’s oldest and largest law firms specializing in personal injury and medical malpractice, including car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, wrongful death and brain injury. You can also find them online at www.tractortraileraccident-attorney.com and www.braininjury-attorney.com.


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