Houston has some of the most commercial trucks on the roads. Our area is a hub for transportation, and many trucks need to travel through our city to get to other parts of the country. Trucks can pose a threat to safety on our roads. One of the concerns is for falling cargo. When a truck loses part of or an entire load, it can result in extremely dangerous conditions for other drivers. In many instances, it is impossible to avoid debris on the road. Cargo on the roads has been the cause of some serious accidents.
The major highways in Houston are the main areas where falling cargo or lost loads are a problem. These include:
What Causes Trucks to Lose its Cargo?
A number of factors may contribute to the loss of cargo for a truck. Large semi-trucks may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when they are fully loaded. Trucks that have open beds are most likely to lose their cargo. However, even closed trucks can become unbalanced if their load shifts unexpectedly. This shift can cause the truck to swerve out of control. Even an experienced driver will have trouble trying to keep this type of trucking accident from occurring.
Cargo that is not secured properly could come loose during transport. When the cargo is not secured, it can come off the truck in an irregular manner. There have been incidences in which large, heavy spools have fallen off trucks directly into lanes of traffic. Unsecured wood could fly off the truck and become a projectile, hitting into other vehicles. These types of hazards are not uncommon on our Houston roads. In these instances, the truck driver or trucking company can be responsible for accidents and damage caused by the loss of cargo.
Then too, a jackknife truck wreck frequently leads to the loss of the load on the highway which results in many accidents.
What are the Laws Regarding Cargo Securement?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules in place that require trucks to use proper methods to secure cargo. The rules apply to all large commercial trucks that operate on our nation’s roads. The rules are in place to ensure that large and heavy loads will not come loose during transport. Drivers or trucking companies must use adequate tie-downs and place them properly so they will not come loose, break, or release while on the road. When the incorrect materials are used for tie-downs it can get cut, or friction can break the cords.
The FMCSA provides minimum standards for tie-downs based on testing. The tie-downs must withstand forces in every direction to protect the cargo and keep it in place. When cargo shifts, whether it is inside a truck or on an open vehicle, it can cause the truck to veer out of control. If cargo falls off the truck on the road, it causes serious harm and possibly fatalities. The FMCSA has specific rules for various types of loads such as pipes and logs.
If you were hurt in an accident due to falling cargo, we may be able to help. In the cases we accept, we investigate the incident and gather important documentation that will prove whether the load was properly secured and who is at fault.
Negligent parties can be held responsible for your damages, including your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Call the Truck Accident Attorney for a Consultation
Contact the Texas truck accident attorney with 35 years of experience in helping Texas families after an accident with an 18-wheeler.